Directed by: Ieva Makselyte Starring: Faye Sewell, David Magowen, and Brian Carter Indie Film Review by: Owen Herman
Parallel begins with the fateful meeting of Heather (Faye Sewell), and Neil (David Magowan) at a work party. The two instantly hit it off and begin a loving relationship. One day they stumble upon Machlis (Brian Carter) a medium who claims he can give them a glimpse of their parallel lives. Despite Neil’s protests Heather decides to see what Machlis can offer. The resulting experience shows Heather what she’s not ready to see and puts the couple at odds as they start to become increasingly paranoid.
Parallel is built on Heather and Neil’s relationship, and it is with this relationship that the faults with the film start to appear. Not only is their relationship not particularly believable, but the characters themselves aren’t very likeable and therefore it is very difficult to engage with the couple. This results in a disconnect from the film when we should be really engaged and gripped by the unpredictable storyline. A lot of the performances are quite flat, which makes the character issues worse. Brian Carter, as the mysterious medium, manages to stand out, delivering a performance with enough depth so we’re never too sure what Machlis’ true intentions are or whether he really is who he says he is.
The script is, in general, pretty good, but unfortunately there are a few weaker lines which are noticeable and sound very unnatural. A bit more polish and the writing would have been very strong. My biggest problem with Parallel was the use of music. The emotional cues are often far too on the nose, and the music seems to overpower some scenes and at times makes it hard to understand the dialogue.
For a film about people pursuing excitement, it lacks any real thrill. The premise is interesting, and the story is unpredictable, but its twists never have the impact they should. Part of this is down to the unengaging characters, but the film also struggles to get over its slow pace, resulting it dragging at times. Overall, despite the promise of its premise, and a couple of good moments, Parallel ultimately ends up feeling unsatisfying.