The Chair to Everywhere review

★★

Directed by: #MolSmith

Written by: #MolSmith

Starring: #SeanBotha, #PollyTregear

Film Review by: #DarrenTilby




Mol Smith’s latest offering is an 83-minute long science-fiction film centred around the idea of simulation theory. This underlying premise is an intriguing one, and the film isn’t short of ambition. But ultimately (and unfortunately) The Chair to Everywhere suffers from sub-par writing, unremarkable characters and a muddled narrative.


A father (Sean Botha) and his daughter (Polly Tregear) invent a teleportation device, designed to transport organic matter from one point to another, in their small Oxford home. After a few semi-successful attempts and believing that, finally, any potential problems have been sorted, the daughter insists on being the first person to be teleported. Not all goes to plan, however, and during the process––she disappears.


Father (Graham) and daughter (Laura) form the very heart and soul of our story, and as such, their relationship is the key to its success. Sadly, this is a hurdle the film is never really able to clear. It’s not through lack of trying, but a mix of poorly written dialogue, under-developed backstory and unconvincing chemistry/performances (possibly due to the two previously mentioned issues) have not helped. These problems persist throughout the film’s duration as more characters are gradually introduced. However, not all is bad. While some of these characters do suffer the aforementioned issues, others come bearing intriguing moral and ethical conundrums for our lead to overcome. These moments are wholly refreshing but, ultimately, too sparse.


The main problem for many indie filmmakers is a budgetary constraint. That certainly seems to have been the case here. The production design is poor, as is the quality of the camera used, and the less said about the visual effects, the better. But worse than that is the sound quality. Why is it worse? Well, unlike everything else, the poor sound quality actually detracted from the film overall. You see, most of these details don't cause any significant problems. In fact, many of them are really quite endearing. However, on several occasions – and due to the tinny, muffled quality of the sound – the dialogue was unclear, and as a result, I missed several, what I assume to be important conversations.


The Chair to Everywhere is planted firmly in the science-fiction genre. And to its credit, it contains all the hallmarks of a great piece of science-fiction cinema: from the obvious near-futuristic technologies and alien lifeforms to the more existential and morally philosophical concerns. This is something I feel the film does rather well. There are still a few missteps. The scene where the father and daughter share a bed whilst discussing how "lonely" he has been since his wife (her mother) died is a particularly uncomfortable and unpleasant moment. But on the whole, this is all handled really well and did raise some very interesting questions about human nature—as all good sci-fi films should.


This was an ambitious project, which is by no means a bad thing. Indeed, it's this sheer ambition that I really respect. It's such a shame then that the film falls short of what it wanted to (and what I know it could have) achieve(d). The Chair to Everywhere is available now on Amazon Prime Video. And as always, I would advise you to check it out.