Have you heard of a new movie about a team of quantum physicists building a revolutionary device that, once it goes live, can change the course of the world forever?
In the case you have, you probably aren’t thinking about aporiaa cleverly crafted sci-fi indie whose budget was only an infinitesimal fraction of that used for Christopher Nolan. oppenheimerbut whose emotional repercussions are just as palpable, if not more so at times.
The bottom line
High concept and sense.
Written and directed by Jared Moshe (The Ballad of Lefty Brown), the high-concept, extremely lo-fi feature follows a trio of Angelenos who use a homemade particle accelerator to kill people in the past, causing unpredictable consequences in the present. With subtle acting and a slick script, if a bit generic in its execution, the Well Go USA release should find some cult following in theaters and a larger audience on streaming platforms.
Judy Greer stars as Sophie, a recently widowed mother doing her best to raise a teenage daughter, Riley (Faithe Herman), who has been devastated by the loss of her father, Malcolm (Edi Gathegi), in a hit and run. accident. Their lives are filled with sadness and regret, but what if, and this is a great question, they could change all of that?
Enter, Jabir (the formidable Payman Maadi, A seperation), an Iranian scientist who fled his homeland after his family was murdered by the regime, now making a living as an Uber driver in Los Angeles while building a makeshift time machine in his own living room.
It takes some suspension of disbelief to accept that last part, which Moshe backs up by talking about “abstract particles” and other concepts that no one is supposed to really understand. But science is hardly at the center of aporiawhich focuses much more on the ethical questions that arise when a group of people manipulate time and space to serve their own ends.
This happens once Jabir, who was a friend of Sophie’s late husband, explains that his device cannot send people back in time as it was meant to, but can instead murder someone in the past, again using science that is worthless. worth detailing here. If such a thing is possible, why not use the machine to go back and kill the drunk driver (Adam O’Byrne) who hit Malcolm and ruined all of his lives?
Once they do that, Moshe explores the domino and butterfly effect caused by bringing Sophie’s family together while destroying another family in the process, in this case the widow (Whitney Morgan Cox) and daughter (Veda Cienfuegos) of the now deceased. driver. Sophie is soon hit with buyer’s remorse, triggering more experiments that continue to transform her reality, creating a multiverse of possibilities with no end in sight.
Moshe minimizes physics as much as possible, allowing his characters to wrestle with their morality as the dead come to life around them. Who benefits from such time crimes? The victims who are spared, or a man like Jabir, who hopes to avenge his family by saving innocent people, including children killed by a school shooter? And yet, saving some lives means ending others, and playing God isn’t for everyone. (Speaking to Dr. Oppenheimer.)
With its lo-fi effects and stripped-down aesthetics, aporia remember director Shane Carruth’s Sundance-winning debut Primer, another sci-fi indie where quantum physics changed the course of history for a small group of people. But while Carruth’s cinema was confident and inspired, Moshe tends to resort to stand-alone tropes (lots of handheld camera work, a non-stop score that becomes effusive at points) that fail to give his film the same edge.
However, it manages to make its implausible scenario feel heartfelt for the three main characters, focusing on their emotions as they set off various chain reactions that inevitably come back to bite them. Greer, Gathegi, and Maadi are right as ordinary people grappling with space-time realities whose impact they fail to fully comprehend until it may be too late. Sure, they’ve changed the world, but be careful what you wish for.
Producer: Armian Pictures
Distributor: Well Go USA
Cast: Judy Greer, Edi Gathegi, Payman Maadi, Faithe Herman, Whitney Morgan Cox, Veda Cienfuegos, Adam O’Byrne
Director, Screenwriter: Jared Moshe
Producers: Neda Armian, T. Justin Ross
Executive Producers: David Lawson Jr., Peter Van Steemburg, Dennis Walker, Doris Pfardescher, Christophe Alender, David A. Smith, Tyler Gould, Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor
Cinematographer: Nicholas Bupp
Production Designs: Kati Simon, Ariel Vida
Costumes: Bryan Roberts Kopp
Editing: Marshall Granger
Composer: H. Scott Salinas
Casting Directors: Sunday Boling, Meg Morman
Rated R, 1 hour 44 minutes