Directed by: Steve Johnson
Written by: #SteveJohnson
Questioning truth, fate, and reality, filmmaker Steve Johnson's indie film Convergence delivers a story that is loaded with drama and tinged with grief.
Jeremy Theobald plays Martin, an author (not the same as a writer) whose life was upended when his wife and son died in a car crash. Struggling to come to terms with the reality of his life now, it takes the convergence with another damaged soul called Lily (Nicolette McKeown) to help him find direction and search for closure. Regrettably, Lily brings her own story of woe to the chess table, with an unhinged and violent ex-partner (Lee Fanning) looking to bring her back home.
Told with a glorious pace and rich #cinematography, Convergence sweeps the audience into the bosom of its sorrowful storyline. There is a fractured approach to the editing which complements the nature of Martin and Lily's newfound relationship, as if their immense baggage keeps their fate in a frenetic state. Sequences of them travelling across the city are beautifully coordinated, with fluid shots and a dreamlike quality to them.
The performances are strong across the board. From Theobald's subtle stoicism and McKeown's desperate anxiety, to Fanning's looming menace, and Alfie Wellcoat as Martin's worried publisher. Marcus Macleod does a phenomenal job at creating arresting sequences with only hand carved chess pieces!
For a film dealing with numerous angsty themes, Johnson does supremely well to explore them in a manner that feels controlled and minimalist. Whilst there are sequences where the drama explodes on screen, such as Lily talking about her childhood or grappling with her ex, the majority of the film feels like a contemplative piece where the viewer is palpably experiencing the grief and distress of the two central characters. A large part of this is due to the character of Martin and the understated performance from Theobald.
Where the indie movie feels the most compelling are the moments of mystery, especially the link between the moving of the chess pieces and the dramatic unfolding of the plot. This is wonderfully accompanied by a chilling musical score that elevates the mood of the piece and increases the tension spectacularly. The final third is somewhat of a Marmite moment and audiences can definitely be forgiven for losing their grip if they aren't fully invested. However, for those viewers who have fully immersed themselves into the narrative and Johnson's fluid storytelling, there is a bold, robust, and powerful ending to be experienced.
Watch the indie film trailer for Convergence below.