Movie Review – Synchronicity (2015)
Synchronicity is a movie that should not work. It should be a terrible movie. A minuscule production budget, a tiny cast, and a script that was written by the director… That last one is always a red flag.
The thing is, Synchronicity isn’t just a good movie, it’s a borderline amazing movie.
The plot is that a three-man team, headed by the main character Jim Beale, invent time travel. During the first experiment, they recover a flower from the future and must find its modern day equivalent in order to prove that their concept works.
Here enters evil capitalism, a mysterious girl, and possibly a greater understanding of the very nature of the fabric of reality.
At 100 minutes long, this is a tight and nuanced film filled with detail almost on a granular level. Much like The Usual Suspects, I found myself wanting to view it again immediately to spot all the clues to the mystery.
Contrasting bigger budget time travel movies, like Looper, this film has the sense to resolve its own paradoxes but avoid the pitfalls of being too maths or science-based, like its cousin Primer.
To pick faults feels unfair given the very tight production budget, but I was a little disappointed with the score which may as well have been demo versions of Vangelis’s Blade Runner. I would have preferred to see the film assert its own identity in that regard.
However, that really is as far as the faults go. The script is superb and has clearly spent a long time in considered development. The acting is outstanding and in particular, the chemistry between the lead (Chad McKnight) and the seductive Abby (played by Brianne Davies) is as heady as it is toxic, and the two smoulder on screen.
Great support is given from the likes of A J Bowen, and a very pleasing turn from Michael Ironside (who earns forgiveness for Highlanders 2 through this movie).
On the one hand, this is a sparse film with only a few sets through which multiple scenes run. However a great deal of detail that is given to shade, tone, and texture of nearly-but-not-quite-the-same series of actions and dialogue create a wonderfully fine distinction between the two competing time streams, and that earns this movie near instant replay value.
Perhaps the most difficult thing about reviewing this film is considering who will enjoy it. Whilst there are action scenes it is not an action movie. Whilst there are love scenes this not a love story. Whilst there are settings that speak of the evils of capitalism (often couched in the Tesla versus Edison argument) this is not morally critical film in that regard at least. Clearly, this is not a leave-your-brain-at-the-door affair, but nor does it speak of a secret insight into humanity in the way that The Fountain does. Ultimately this begins as a story about a man trying to make a scientific breakthrough and through the power of cosmological circumstance ascends to become a tale of both personal redemption and wider understanding.
All involved should be commended for an exceptional effort, and if you are fan of Sliders, or are looking for movies such as Looper, Project Almanac, and Primer, then this should be the top of your pile.
Final verdict: 5/6