Sunday, February 11, 2018

Entanglement: Movie Review


A twisting, original story of love and depression.
The main reason to watch Entanglement is because it’s different and unique. There are plenty of movies that are weird just for the sake of being weird, but Entanglement is only slightly weird with an actual story to tell – a story that’s grounded in universal emotions. Ultimately, it’s about loneliness, depression and love, and never hides those thoughts while sending us down a twisting, original path with some moments of brilliance and the occasional moment of nonsense. 2017

Directed by: Jason James

Screenplay by: Jason Filiatrault

Starring: Thomas Middleditch, Jess Weixler, and Diana Bang

The beginning was supposed to be the end for Ben (Thomas Middleditch). But one failed suicide attempt leads to multiple failed suicide attempts, and while I laughed through most of them, I still felt absolutely terrible about that. It’s clear that Ben is destined to have difficult and complicated relationships with the audience and every other character he meets. Which leads us to the main plot. Ben’s parents finally tell him that he was meant to have a sister, a baby girl they almost adopted before he was born. It becomes Ben’s quest to find her.

The over-arching theme to Ben’s quest is his belief in alternate realities. That there was a moment when an action or a decision altered his life’s path and instead of being happy and content, he’s now miserable and depressed. He needs to find that moment that altered his reality to help him understand what went wrong in his life. He beliefs that his almost-sister Hanna (Jess Weixler) is the key to his happiness.

Through the brilliant storm that is Jess Weixler, Hanna forces her way onto the screen and takes over Ben’s life. She agrees that they share an ultimate connection through their almost destiny and she also feels she can help teach him about quantum entanglement to help tie together his metaphysical ideas.

Some of the film’s over-explanation of their metaphysics phenomena that they want to include just comes across as nonsense, but at the same time, it’s very easy to accept that Ben needs to believe in those concepts. Also, Ben’s use of red string to map out his life’s directions and all the alternate reality possibilities, is really beautifully handled.

The movie is the story of Ben, his relationship with Hanna and his overly-protective neighbour Tabby (Diana Bang). I don’t want to give too much away (there are twists!) but I do want to share a great quote. Tabby is concerned that Hanna is a criminal, but how could Ben have known. “Well she stole my wallet, she shoplifted, she broke into my apartment, and she broke into a pool. There were clues”. Other than how perfectly suited Middleditch is for delivering that line, it’s also brilliant. I’ll just repeat, there were clues!

In an interview with the AV Club to promote this film, Middleditch comments that many comedians have “dark patches”. It’s a good way to sum up this film. His gift for comedy helps find the funny in a story that otherwise wouldn’t have any comedy. But it’s a story about a troubled young man; his depression is real as well as his desires to find something that might help him. Middleditch encompasses all of that impeccably. And then on top of this, the film layers in themes of love and family and acceptance, and everything is interconnected. Entanglement.

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