14th Jun2021

‘Parallel’ DVD Review

by Chris Thomas

Stars: Aml Ameen, Martin Wallström, Georgia King, Mark O’Brien, Alyssa Diaz, Josh Blacker, Kathleen Quinlan, Chad Krowchuk, Michael Kopsa, Carrie Genzel, Bill Dow | Written by Scott Blaszak | Directed by Isaac Ezban

“That lady is wearing a wig!” is the first thought that comes to me at the start of Parallel… Shortly thereafter, the film throws up an interesting conceit and, aside from the wig, this film is extremely professionally made. It is a sci-fi mind bender with similar ambition to Looper.

A group of friends have created a parking app, and they are trying to seal the big deal, but it all goes wrong, and they lose out. The banter among the gang is believable and funny. The characters are likable and believable as people. There is a bouncy, fun, Ocean’s 11 vibe to a lot of the gang’s hijinks.

After a drunken night out, our friends come home and decide to kick their way through a thin wall in their rented house. Therein they discover a large room containing a special mirror. It is rather fun that the secret room contains many of the trappings of a horror film, a child’s bike, old photos, but our team push past these items to find a mirror that acts as link between different parallel dimension.

The team then do some investigating and maths relating the “time dilation” (they are super smart start up types). They quickly use their big brains, computers and a huge amount of pizza and beer to use the “time dilation” to get a load of work done, that would not have been possible otherwise, to steal a march on their competitor and win the big deal.

From this point, they try to win the lottery, based on the time dilation but discover that the other dimension is not identical to their own. From here, the team are heading into the other dimension more and more to discover its mysteries, and frankly benefit in any way they can. Suddenly they are stealing the wallets of their other dimension double, and somehow spending huge sums, without their double realising their bank account is being exploited. The liberation and fun the gang have in the second act can be felt through the screen. One of them dreams of blowing up a million dollars. Slowly but surely consequences of actions slowly unravel. As time goes on, each of the gang finds their own side hustles to exploit, they pursue their own interests and agendas. From stealing their alternative versions wallets, some of the gang start to consider the people in the alternative dimension to be less than real people, the same rules do not apply. From a single, alternative dimension, suddenly we are presented by a multiverse.

From here, our friends go down a dark path, cracks in their friendships and old romantic relationships start to come to the fore. It becomes a cautionary tale. I feel deeply sorry for our likable band of friends as they let the impossibilities of their new possibilities overcome them. The “mic drop” ending is particularly effective and memorable.

There is a level of quality here, both in terms of film making competence but also in terms of professionalism that makes this interesting story stand apart. The camera work is great, the acting is strong, and the music is Hollywood studio quality.

There is a common misconception that sci-fi films are about “spaceships” but they are about people. Parallel is a film about people, and I highly recommend it.

Parallel is out now on DVD and digital, courtesy of 101 Films.

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