Thursday, November 20, 2014

Coherence (2013)

Director: James Ward Byrkit
Writers:  James Ward Byrkit, Alex Manugian
Cast:       Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon


Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead. 

Film is mostly restricted to a living room and the quantum theory based on the famous analogy of Schrodinger's cat is kind of used to give credibility to the story. In the Schrodinger's cat analogy, the cat will be either alive or dead once you open the box whereas it can be both dead and alive as long as the box is closed. The film uses the comet moment of the story to postulate that it caused a state called coherence/ decoherence (Am not sure which but I suspect the latter) which is the many-worlds interpretation of the quantum mechanics. In this state, different versions of reality are interfering with each other. In the film when the current goes off, some of them leave the house they are in but sees the same house two blocks away in which their other world versions occupy. By the end of the film all of them seem to be from different versions of the reality with their own totems which can be used as an identifier. It is a very interesting way to use scientific idea to create a very different film. But it is better to see as a fantasy mystery than a proper sci-fi film.

Film was made on a micro-budget of $50K and marks the directorial debut for James Ward Byrkit. I put off watching the film since his IMDB page showed his involvement with the shitty Pirate of the Caribbean franchise. Turns out he was involved just in the Art Department of those films. Considering the budget it is certainly a very good effort and is worth a watch. It is not as inaccessible as  'Primer' which proved that there is an audience for such mindfucks. Some of the expositions in Coherence are cringey and you kind of question their initial reactions to events. But once things become clear it is very good and it will be interesting to see when the different characters get out of the house to see whether all of it hold up to scrutiny.

Rating: 3.5/5