Director: James Ward Byrkit
Starring: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon, Lorene Scafaria, Elizabeth Gracen, Hugo Armstrong, Alex Manugian, Lauren Maher
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, directed by James Ward Byrkit.
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. If it sounds like I’m talking in riddles then I apologise and let me explain further.
On the same night as a mysterious and powerful comet passes over Earth, four sets of couples get together for an evening meal to catch-up. Although past relationships and their connections are suggested, this isn’t The Ice Storm (1997) but things certainly will 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.
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 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 alongside an intensely clever cast.
Coherence is available to purchase and watch on Netflix now – Or, as we have, buy it here: http://amzn.to/2GfXOy6
(Originally published on The Hollywood News)