Synchronicity (2015) [Fantasia Film Festival]

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FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL

Jacob Gentry’s “Synchronicity” is the kind of film I really do enjoy. It’s non-linear, it has a taste of noir within it, and it’s filled with existentialist themes about parallel worlds and wormholes that dare to challenge its audience. “Synchronicity” is the kind of challenging fiction that will spark conversations among its audience and leave them pondering on the bigger questions that it poses right through to the end. I didn’t quite understand what was happening in the film for the first half, but Gentry really brings all of the narrative together making what seems like a scattershot series of events feel like one giant master plan. It’s a film in the tradition of “Memento” sparking brilliant visuals and a vivid world where nothing is ever really what it seems.

Our characters live in a futuristic landscape where the development of science keeps the setting ever changing and oddly foreign. Director Gentry is very fond of the implantation of sound and shadows as a form of conveying the surrealism of his narrative. Gentry wisely uses the more visceral elements as their own character from the very opening shots, making reality seem very harrowing and untrustworthy. Jim and his fellow scientists are working on the concept of time travelling hoping to spark a wormhole that will introduce alternate worlds to one another. After an odd explosion during the experiment, Jim is convinced the experiment poured out a traveler.

Oddly enough he meets Abby, a brutally gorgeous enigmatic young woman who is much smarter than Jim originally assumes, and poses herself as a trusting ally in his crucial work. Jim requires funding from a businessman Klaus Meisner (Michael Ironside being Michael Ironside, which is always a good thing) who can help fund the experiment and perhaps mine it for public usage. After getting to know Abby, Jim worries she might be in bed Meisner, and he begins using the wormhole to begin changing his fate, this creates a paradox that he is woefully unprepared for. Much of the strength of “Synchronicity” lies within its keen visual sense. Gentry’s film is utterly stark and otherworldly in presentation as he unfolds what is a considerably mind bending narrative.

I also really enjoyed the turns by AJ Bowen, Chad McKnight, and the breathtaking Brianne Davis. That said, while “Syuchronicity” does excel as prime thought provoking science fiction, the wheels begin to fall off by the finale, prompting a series of twists that were admittedly baffling. It’s tough to keep up when not even the narrative seems to know what to make its own twists and turns. That said, “Synchronicity” is a stellar science fiction neo-noir with top notch performances, incredible visuals, and evocative themes about destiny, fate, and the future. “Synchronicity” is a film that begs for multiple viewings to soak in its rich ideas and plot, and that’s fine by me.