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Fantasia 2020

[Fantasia] ‘Minor Premise’ review: Pieces of me

Split personality disorder.

Minor Premise is a science-fiction thriller making its world premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival. The movie is about a neuroscientist named Ethan (Sathya Sridharan) who cannot escape his father’s legacy. When he begins to experiment on himself, he starts having unexplained blackouts. Do they have anything to do with what he is trying to accomplish or are they result of outside factors?

The most important part of any thriller is building tension. This can be a life or death situation or simply a matter of solving a riddle. Whatever the case, audiences must have a strong emotional attachment to the characters and stories. Specifically, they have to constantly be questioning what is happening in the moment and how that affects what is going to happen next.

Minor Premise does an excellent job of drawing audiences in. The use of clocks and watches lead to a sense of  time being limited. Comments seem to foreshadow dark events to come. Even tropes like mysterious security cameras take on a different feel. The story does a great job of disorienting anyone watching. Director Eric Schultz uses out of focus camera shots and quick cuts. This along with the mind-bending story will have audiences guessing where the story is heading next. Sometimes, the pacing can be too chaotic which can ruin immersion.

[Fantasia] 'Minor Premise' review: Pieces of me

Minor Premise is a science heavy movie with a surprising amount of heart. Talks of memory fragmentation and the formulas will be over the heads of some. But the writers make sure to reel things back in with some of the film’s revelations. When Ethan’s motivations are revealed, they are very understandable. He yearns to do something that many people have often dreamed of accomplishing. Minor Premise fumbles a little with its addition of a generic villain, but it does add another layer of intrigue.

Stories involving time and memory can be as confusing as they are interesting. There simply is a lot of room for plot holes. Minor Premise adds a human element to its plot to maximize engagement. It may deal with abstract concepts, but the main idea will be relatable to anyone who watches the movie. Things start to unravel in the third act, but it is still a fun watch.

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