Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Synchronicity (2015)

You can go a lot of different ways with time-travel stories.  You can have something complicated, like Primer.  Primer has so many timelines and days redone that it gets difficult to keep track of.  Then, you have some stories that are just one timeline.  Predestination is a story that’s told out of order and it’s up to the audience to figure out what it’s all about.  Similarly, Timecrimes is a story that’s retold several times, giving us more information as we go along.

Synchronicity seems to strive for a balance between the two.  It starts with a time-travel experiment that’s trying to get funding   Jim, Chuck and Matt are the scientists.  Klaus Meisner is the only potential source of an expensive material they need.  If the scientists can open a wormhole and  a signal comes through the wormhole, Meisner will know that it worked, thus providing the material that will eventually produce the other side of the wormhole and the  signal.  (Yes, it’s a bootstrap paradox at its simplest.)

Oh, I should also mention that things go sideways when physical objects come through the wormhole.  It proves that it’s viable, but what does it mean that someone seems to have come through and a plant mysteriously appeared in the lab?  The other end of the wormhole won’t be opened for a few days, giving everyone a chance to go crazy.

The conflict comes in that the scientists are interested in contributing to humanity’s scientific understanding while Meisner is interested in furthering the advancement of his bank account.  Meisner is apathetic towards most other aspects of the project.  Jim just wants to know what actually happened.  This leads Jim to make some questionable decisions, like potentially giving up his company.  It doesn’t help that Jim is having strange headaches.  Add to this Abby, a rather attractive woman that may be a little too involved in what‘s going on.  It’s enough to make someone paranoid.

This isn’t a light and fluffy movie.  The movie’s not overly heavy on sex and other adult themes, but I don’t think it’s a movie for children.  There are things that children either would miss entirely or possibly get a little freaked out over.  Those that have seen Blade Runner will probably see similarities in the aesthetics.  The director seems to have borrowed heavily from Blade Runner’s overall mood and/or soundtrack.

It’s also the kind of movie that might be too complicated for some.  I hate saying that you have to pay attention, as it sometimes feels like I’m saying you have to be smart.  However, it’s usually more in the sense that you really can’t be doing something else at the time.  There are all sorts of clues as to what’s going on that might be missed if you’re distracted.  As they say, the devil is in the detail.

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