This is a decent enough movie, though there’s a reason it never received a wide cinematic release. How much you enjoy it will probably turn on how much you like explanations; the more you’re okay with fuzzy resolutions, the more you’re likely to enjoy this movie.
Dylan (Michiel Huisman) is an air traffic controller. He’s exceptionally good at it because he has a talent for seeing patterns, which helps him juggle airplanes in a very instinctive way. But one day he is distracted, and the result is a very close call for two airplanes.
Coincidentally, he meets Sarah (Teresa Palmer), who was a passenger on one of those planes. Instantly drawn to each other, they fall into a passionate love affair. Sarah’s ex-boyfriend, still lurking in the background, is less than pleased to see this.
Of greater importance, Dylan starts to see a pattern building around him, a pattern which he suspects may signal death for Sarah and himself.
The movie is set in New York, but filmed entirely in Australia, which explains why some fairly prominent Australian actors turn up in what are little more than bit parts. Mind you, if I hadn’t read the credits, I wouldn’t know this; they’ve worked their movie magic and it certainly looks like New York.
There’s quite a lot to enjoy in this movie. The cast is good, with convincing acting from all. The setting is believable. And initially at least, the increasing coincidences – or patterns – are built up in an intriguing manner. Indeed, I found myself thinking of Hitchcock movies as Dylan’s behaviour became increasingly erratic. As other characters question whether he’s unbalanced or seeing something no-one else is, the viewer asks the same question. Unfortunately, the movie stumbles shortly after this, and never gets anywhere close to the heights Hitchcock reached.
Although the “what happens” is very clear, the “why” is left obscure. Was it fate? Reincarnation? Literally caused by the stars? This is never very clear. I rather suspect the scriptwriters were trying to have a bet each way, or perhaps had different ideas in different drafts, and never settled on one for the final. Either way, the result is muddy and confused and undermines the ending. Despite events being very clear, you’re left with a bewildered “what just happened?” feeling because the why is so unresolved. It may have been intended to be mysterious, but it just feels unfinished.
Still, I quite enjoyed this. The acting is solid, and the repeating pattern is well drawn. It’s tightly edited so that it doesn’t feel too long or drawn out. It was a pleasant way to spend an evening. However, I expected more from the last ten minutes.
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember, and I love sharing that joy.
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, across all genres. There’s not much I won’t at least try. I’ve been an enthusiastic book reviewer for years. I particularly enjoy discovering writers new to me, and sharing good writing with others.
My career has included time spent writing and editing technical documents, but it’s fiction that really moves me. I’ve reviewed for a number of different outlets over the years, and have been a judge in literary competitions.
I’m now raising little bookworms of my own, which brings a whole new kind of joy to sharing books.
More of my reviews can be found on my review blog www.otherdreamsotherlives.home.blog .