December 8, 2020 Parallel (Movie Review)
The multiverse, better known as alternate reality or a parallel universe, is a theoretical group of multiple universes that comprise everything that exists; or rather a collection of planes of existence, including our own. Throughout the years, several films have been made interpreting and further expanding this theory—titles such as 2006’s Deja Vu and 2009’s Mr. Nobody, just to name a few. But on Friday, December 11, 2020, the world will receive another theorized parallel universe, called Parallel (pun intended), when Vertical Entertainment delivers their latest to select theaters as well as On Demand.
Parallel stars Georgia King (The Duchess 2008, Kill Your Friends 2015), Martin Wallström (Before the Storm 2000, Mr. Robot series), Mark O’ Brien (Arrival 2016, How It Ends 2018), and Aml Ameen (Red Tails 2012, The Maze Runner 2014). The actors portray a group of roommates, best friends, and business partners trying to get investors interested in an app they have created. When things don’t quite go well at a meeting, Devin (Ameen) decides to bail, yet the rest of the group tries to get him to stay. Growing frustrated with the pressure from his friends, he throws a phone which tears a picture from the wall, leaving behind a hole that leads to a mind-blowing discovery.
As it turns out, the friends will soon learn that the mirror is a portal to an alternate reality, one that has some very dangerous consequences. Once the group figures out how the portal works, using it becomes a bad habit. Even though it helps the group to better their lives, as well as bring knowledge to their own universe, this still does not mean it is safe and they are clearly tempting fate.
After a few uses of the portal, Leena (King) finds the journals of the previous owner of the house, played by Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13 1995, Runaways series), and as she begins to read, she finds that the owner herself suffered consequences from using the portal. Though she ignores these warnings, Devin dives deeper into the journals and begins to raise questions about the mirror. Meanwhile, Noel (Wallstrom) becomes consumed by its presence, and soon everyone will suffer the consequences. Throughout Parallel, Wallstrom and King’s characters are perfect. King’s character uses art that is not her own to make a name for herself, while Wallstrom’s character uses science from the alternate reality to create futuristic technology which leads to a massive success for himself. In this, both actors do a great job at showing how greed, success, and fame can destroy someone’s life. O’ Brien, as the carefree, ‘let live’ friend, and Ameen, as the practical one, do a phenomenal job portraying their characters, as well. All the characters have a way of coinciding together that bolsters each actors’ individual performance. So while only two of the friends gain fame and success, one is still able to see the fun in life that this multiverse can bring and the other is able to express his fear of the danger in what his friends are doing.
On top of all of this, the cinematography created by Karim Hussain (Ascension 2002, The Beautiful Beast 2006) is intelligent. He uses a lot of tilts, which in the film industry represents a sign of distress or is to make the viewer very disoriented, which help add to the intensity of the movie. Additionally, he uses cooler color temperature lighting to distinguish differences in the parallel universe, and switching colors between the characters helps the viewer to understand which character from which universe is speaking. This is something that will definitely catch the eyes of the audience.
Just as music can make or break a film, the music for Parallel is brilliant. The music department uses a great deal of score mixers, including an orchestra (The FILMharmonic Orchestra Prague: Warrior 2011, Freaks 2018), which creates a musical selection with the correct intensity to match the onscreen action of this Drama/Thriller that some might classify as Sci-Fi.
Overall, Director Isaac Ezban (The Incident 2014, Deathcember 2019) and newcomer Writer Scott Blaszak, have brought together a brilliant cast and crew to deliver a phenomenal story. In short, Parallel is definitely an intriguing story and will absolutely keep the audience on the edge of their seats. And this is why Cryptic Rock gives Parallel 5 out of 5 stars.