The Spanish sci-fi thriller, “Awareness,” which premiered on Prime Video last Wednesday, introduces us to Ian and his father, Vicente, living on a fishing boat on the outskirts of society. Ian is a “perceiver,” which means he has the power to make illusions. Together with Vicente, he uses his powers for small scams, but things go wrong during a failed attempt to steal alcohol from a convenience store. This incident exposes Ian’s ability to also enter people’s memories and leads to a dramatic chain of events.
Their troubles escalate as a police officer starts pursuing them. Ian creates an illusion of a hailstorm, catching the attention of two rival organizations, the Agency and the Awareness, both interested in taking him.
Both of these organizations clash while searching for Ian, and it becomes evident that the member from Awareness is also a perceiver. The Agency eventually captures Ian, and at their headquarters, he discovers the truth about his identity and powers. The story continues to unfold by revealing that Ian is a naturally-born perceiver, someone who has the ability to disillusion people with his mind. It is also revealed that he possesses a formula in his memories that can create more perceivers. The revelation about the formula was especially compelling since it explains why the two organizations really wanted him. It was also interesting to hear that the formula was planted into his memory by his mother from a young age. Ian also learns about the legend of the Mule, the most powerful perceiver, capable of manipulating people’s will. After hearing about him, I was curious as to who he really was.
During a reunion with Vicente, Ian enters his memories, uncovering that he isn’t Ian’s biological father and that he has a past with Adriana, the Agency’s leader. She encourages Ian to find his real mother. At the same time, Adriana is determined to unlock Ian’s third ability to bend people’s will, but Esther, another member of the Agency, helps Ian escape.
After encountering Vicente once more during their escape, Ian finds out his mother was last seen in Warsaw. Ian and Esther then head to the city, where they discover information about the lab where his mother was held. Back home, Adriana convinces Vicente to continue to support Ian. With Ester’s help, the perceiver from the Awareness finds Ian and reveals that he is Ian’s biological father. He also learns about how truly bad the Agency is.
Soon, the Agency finds all of them in Warsaw, and Ian and Esther escape to his father’s house in Madrid while Ian’s father gets captured by the Agency. While he is kept at the agency, Ian’s father reveals himself as the Mule and uses the third ability to escape the Agency. To me, this revelation was somewhat predictable since he was the only other perceiver in the film and it was obvious that Ian himself wasn’t the Mule.
After escaping from the Agency, Ian’s father introduces Ian to his mother who is now in a vegetative state. Ian enters her memories, and realizing that his mother only wanted Ian to know the formula and no one else. The Agency finds Ian again, and he uses his new ability to bend people’s wills to wound the Agency. Before Ian goes too far, Vicente intervenes.
In the chaos that follows, Ian’s biological father uses his power to force Vicente to end his own life. After this, Ian decides to hunt down his biological father, leading to a battle of their abilities. Adriana steps in to save Ian, and soon, he gains the confidence to act and kill his biological father. This moment definitely kept me on the edge of my seat with how two important characters died so quickly. While Ian was hunting down his father, I was definitely rooting for him and hoping that he could get revenge for all the distress he had caused him. The final fight scene between Ian and his father was also done extremely well, and you never really were sure who would come out victorious.
The movie then concludes with Adriana attempting to obtain the formula from Ian, but he refuses. A closing scene reveals that Ian planted a fake person in Adriana’s mind whom she takes orders from and believes to be real when, in fact, every decision she made was her own doing.
Overall, “Awareness” offers a compelling plot with some intense moments that leave you rooting for the protagonist, Ian. But despite this, the movie to me wasn’t anything completely new. At times, it was predictable, and many of the usual sci-fi tropes could be seen.
Overall rating: 3/5