The real and imaginary collide with tragic consequences as a prodigal physicist at the Large Hadron Collider works to answer profound questions about our universe.
Product Recall is about the fine line between genius and madness. Through the troubled and obsessive protagonist, we discover a world where the lines of reality and delusion have been blurred. Believing he’s unlocked a frightening secret about the origin of matter itself, he suffers a breakdown. Struggling with his own demons in his search for the ‘God particle’, he returns home to convalesce. Was his breakdown the natural result of a genius but flawed mind? Or a celestial intervention designed to prevent him from exposing his discovery?
I’ve always been interested in films that make us question what’s real and what isn’t – films that force us to make up our own minds about the true nature of a story. Product Recall is a purposefully ambiguous film, designed to stimulate thought and conversation in this way.
Through the film’s twisted narrative, the idea was brilliantly brought together by director Ben Smith, who was inspired to write Product Recall by the connection of two seemingly random events in 2008. The struggle and ultimate demise of a gifted but troubled friend, Damon, and the incredible experiments beginning at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Damon’s life began to unravel with the onset of mental illness. Without medication, he created complex paranoid delusions that completely consumed him. With medication, his mind was reduced to a muted and unacceptable version of itself. Hating both versions of his existence, he tragically committing suicide.
In the same year, the Large Hadron Collider was activated for the first time – the largest, most complex experiment ever created and designed to answer the most fundamental questions about our universe.
I became fascinated with the experiments being conducted there, and what they might discover. More than anything, my own research revealed to me how little we really know about the mysterious inner workings of the universe.
We all remember the hysteria around the Collider before they turned it on, on how it might create a black hole, or open a doorway to another dimension. Which is where Ben found an eerie similar paranoid delusion that his friend Damon elaborately surrounded himself with during his illness. A story connecting the schizophrenic delusions of a scientist with the enormous unknowns surrounding the experiments at the LHC emerged in Ben’s mind. The result is a complex film designed to make the audience question the events in the film, leaving each viewer to decide if they were real or imagined.