Ascendant exists in a beautiful, cinematic, unease-inducing world of its own, developing organically, measuring every step, taking in every progression, before truly revealing its intentions to the viewer. A man wanders around in an abandoned greyhound racing track, allowing himself to take in the glories of the past, the grandeur of an age that has passed him by. As he moves from one corner to another, sipping on a drink from a forgotten bottle, looking at portraits of the greats of the racing world, the narrative draws attention to a sense of admiration within him, perhaps even a longing for a space he cannot inhabit any more. Read Less
Additionally, the black and white cinematography, whether a deliberate choice or technical necessity - adds a sense of disconcertment to the film. It heightens your discomfort with a realm where doe-eyed hounds are pitted against each other, their bone structures humanly-altered to turn them into most optimum racing tools for human recreation.
While the protagonist may have first allowed us a glimpse into his fascination mixed with curiosity for the lost age, it does not take long for all of it to soon turn to horror, shock and disgust. Do not think for one second that you, the viewer, would be distanced from any of these emotions. The film ensures, as a result of its visual prowess and sophistication, that you feel each of them very deeply. In the process, Ascendant becomes a paradigmatic example of powerful storytelling, which when coupled with technical skill, is capable of producing the most notable results.