coherence-movie-poster-2013-large-fantastic-festWhat’s it all about?

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

They’re not kidding, you know. It’s all weird metaphysical stuff.

Basically a group of friends are having a dinner party at the same time as the comet is scooting across the sky above them, and all sorts of oddness starts happening – phone screens crack spontaneously, the power goes out and when they go outside to see what’s happening there is a single house down the street with lights on. One of the group has a brother who knows about all the physics stuff and he had suggested that if anything strange happens he should be given a call, so a couple of the group head out to see if said lit-up house has a working phone. Cue aforementioned weirdness.

Why did I want to watch it?

I knew absolutely nothing about this movie until I saw someone’s review via Twitter and it sounded intriguing so I ordered it on DVD. Reviews I’ve seen since have been largely favourable, suggesting that although it didn’t entirely succeed it was a really good attempt at doing something a bit different.

Also Nicholas Brendon (Xander from Buffy) was in it, so it simply had to be done.

What did I think of it?

So it’s worth knowing that I watched Coherence in the middle of a bout of illness which left me totally spaced out on meds and sofa-ridden (I’m not sure if that’s ever been a word but hey, it is now) unable to read and with fluctuating levels of concentration. So watching a film with a concept from theoretical physics at its heart may not at first sight seem the most sensible thing to do, but actually being a bit out of it may have enhanced the whole WTF is going on sensibility of the film. I was just as confused as the characters were, though possibly slightly quicker on the uptake about some things.

I thought this was a great little film, and by little I mean that’s it’s clearly low-budget, filmed on one set and seemingly at least partly improvised. I thought the relationships between the various members of the group were very realistic, especially when it all appeared to be falling apart. The idea that reality was shifting (eddies in the space-time continuum!) and that you couldn’t be sure that the person you’re talking to now is the same person that you were talking to earlier, and how quickly a group can begin to splinter as they start to mistrust each other while still having to work together to get to the bottom of the puzzle of what’s happening to them all was very effectively handled.

The last section of the film does become a little bit thriller-ish and the ending is inconclusive but I didn’t really mind either of those things, and I felt it was very well done and something I would definitely enjoy watching again.