Written and directed by Graham Jones, a group of American tech moguls get drunk on a rainy Dublin afternoon. Starring: Fiona Bawn Thompson, Bobby Calloway, Gerry Cannon, Shane Lynch, Brendan McDonald, Matthew McMahon, José Naghmar, Grace Power and Rob Smith.
With the ever adapting and evolving world of animation, it’s always great to see when directors and animators think outside the box. That’s what Silicon Docks does, it exists somewhere in-between a more old-fashioned drawn style animation and reality, creating a constant wave as its blend leans one way or the other. The choice is a nice reflection of the attitudes and themes of its story, mixing the ultra-modern, future thinking with something more basic. It represents the different landmarks of Dublin without trying to glamourise it, it still has that on the street feel, especially taking place on a typically rainy day. That in itself creates a wonderful juxtaposition of having all these ridiculously wealthy, privileged people walking the streets on a miserable afternoon. It’s colourful and simple in its own way but there’s still a good amount of detail to it.
The story feels as though it exists somewhere between satire and parody, it doesn’t have both feet quite in one or the other. It’s a choice entirely suited to the outlandish nature of the existence of tech moguls in today’s society but at the same time it makes it hard to hit a definitive note. That style of comedy works but it does mean that the film struggles to make a more impactful impression. It’s hitting a very consistent note throughout, the problem being that it’s overly consistent so at a certain point it’s just hitting the same note and it’s difficult to move forward and keep things progressing. That’s the key issue as it simply doesn’t feel like it has more to add, it makes its point but then doesn’t expand or bring something unexpected.
A part of hitting that note of satire is tapping into the voices of its tech moguls and for the most part that’s achieved. However, it is another aspect that blurs the line between satire and parody, some of the work perfectly embellishes the ridiculous, privileged note and others feel like an exaggeration which isn’t matching the tone as well. It’s mixed in its execution but you can see the intentions behind each so while they might not cohesively bring everything together, it does still join together to take a dig at the tech world.
Silicon Docks takes aim at the tech leaders and does it well but can’t quite sustain that energy for the full runtime. It has a great basis but the story tends to stick to one note which gives it little room for progression. The animation is a nice mix of old fashioned and realistic, bringing a lot of colour to the table and matching the satirical energy. It simply struggles to expand past that initial impression, after the first few scenes, it isn’t bringing enough unexpected elements to the table.