Director: James Ward Byrkit
Starring: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon, Lorene Scafaria, Elizabeth Gracen, Hugo Armstrong, Alex Manugian, Lauren Maher
Run Time: 89 Minutes
Synopsis: Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead.
Imagine, for a moment, being stuck inside an infinite loop of your own reality. But then throw in an ordinary evening, a dinner party with your closest friends and some Schrödinger’s cat theories and voilà; you’ve got all the ingredients inside the stimulating COHERENCE.
This low-fi indie drama lends itself to some interesting opinions on existence, life and multiple realities but it’s presented within a tight narrative that keeps it simple for the casual viewer. In a similar vein to Mike Cahill’s ANOTHER EARTH (2011), this is all about one unique event and the potential consequences of the unknown. It may sound like I’m talking in riddles though, so let me explain a little further.
On the same night as a mysterious and powerful comet passes over Earth, four sets of couples get together for an evening meal as they haven’t seen each other for a while. Although past relationships and their connections are suggested, this isn’t THE ICE STORM (1997) but things certainly head out of control. After the comet passes closer overhead, it knocks the electricity out in the house and also across the whole neighbourhood. Upon further investigation, some of the group head outside but can only see one other house ‘lit up’ in their surroundings and so they decide to pay them a visit, to ask if they can use their phone. But here’s where the craziness starts, because whilst they’re away, they discover the house is exactly the same as the one they’ve just left but there are differences. While the story progresses, the group try to muster some sense into the situation but everything gets more twisted, relationships start to strain, secrets are untied and it’s all juxtaposed along a nice slice of uncertain realities.
James Ward Byrkit’s COHERENCE takes a refreshing look into possibility of multiple and metaphysical worlds. This science-fiction drama genre doesn’t rely on visuals and excessive over-explaining but rather wants to gives you the tools to imagine what it’d be like to cross between alternate realities occurring instantaneously. The ensemble cast is clearly the most significant thing here since they’re the ones you need to be convinced by as you’re pulled into the confusion. It’s also interesting that both the audience and their own characters try to fathom if we’re watching the same ‘people’ from beginning to the end. This might sound convoluted but it’s done in an accessible way with a logical look at modern paranoia and the suggestion of a technological reliant age.
COHERENCE is an intelligent indie sci-fi drama that has smartly chosen its specific focus and plays it out impeccably.
[usr=4] COHERENCE opens in the UK on 13th February.