C2 Proficiency. Writing Task 2. Review (of a film I haven’t seen).


I keep writing like crazy because I am preparing for the C2 Proficiency test (fka CPE). In my previous post, I shared my Writing Part 2 article. In this post, I want to share a review I wrote about a movie I haven't seen and give some insights into handling an unfortunate task.

Task

A film magazine has invited readers to submit reviews of films which are set in the future, but deal with themes relevant to today’s world, such as our relationship with technology or environmental problems. You decide to submit a review briefly describing such a film and explaining why its themes are relevant today. You should also consider how important it is for films set in the future to say something about contemporary society. (Cambridge English Proficiency 2, Test 2, Question 4).

This is a really unfortunate task for me because I watch very few movies, maybe 3 a year. But as I read it, I imagined myself sitting in the exam room not wanting to fail, so I had to come up with something.

How I dealt with the task 

  1. Since I didn't have much time to choose and not many movies to choose from, I went with the first movie about the future that came to mind, which was The Matrix. Since the movie has entered popular culture, I definitely knew something about it. 
  2. Having scrutinized the task, I realized the movie description itself was only supposed to take about 30% of the answer. I also had to explain and consider other aspects. 
So I just pulled myself together and wrote the best I could under the circumstances.

My answer 

Given how fast technologies are developing, films about the future become films about the present at lightning speed. “The Matrix,” a 1990s classic, is just a couple of years away from becoming our reality.

Set in a dystopian future, the film shows people living in virtual reality with their bodies living in capsules and being used as an energy source by machines. As the main character discovers this unsettling fact, he decides to revolt. The film’s most iconic scene has entered our culture and is there to stay. In the scene, the main character offers his accomplice two pills: a blue one to forget the disturbing truth and a red one to remain aware of the disturbing reality. Almost 20 years old, the film is more relevant than ever. We are getting fully immersed in alternative realities of social media and online content, with our accounts being used as an energy source by huge corporations. While this unsettling trend is clear to some, most people choose to swallow the blue pill and continue their existence blissfully unaware.

Somebody famous said that those who don’t learn the history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. I believe that those who do not open their eyes to the ways the world is evolving are doomed to stumble into the future as gloomy as depicted in science fiction films. Being a figment of the director’s imagination, films set in the future are a powerful tool that can prevent the onset of the order we find undesirable. Watching films is currently the most popular free time activity among young people, which makes this medium an excellent opportunity to get through to them. Any doctor knows that prevention is better than cure. Watching a film and changing our ways before it’s too late is undeniably better than having to tackle the hardships of the realities we don’t want to live in.


315 words

Takeaway

If you find yourself sitting in the exam room not knowing what to write about, don’t panic.
  1. Go with your first or second choice. You are highly likely to scrap enough for your answer. Don't waste time sorting through ideas. 
  2. Analyze and understand the task. Is describing the topic the only thing you are supposed to do? There are probably other aspects to the task that will help you make it work. 

Image credit: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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