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Movie Reviews

‘Parallel’ review: An unexpected trip to the mulitverse

The ways we learn.

Parallel offers movie audiences a different type of mulitverse tale. There are no superheroes and the plot has more of a horror vibe. A group of friends find a mirror that serves as a door to other dimensions. What follows is a twisting cautionary tale that is flawed but enjoyable.

The script will follow many similar tropes of the genre. The group has to avoid running into their alternate selves while one of the friends hopes to find a deceased family member in another timeline. In true The Twilight Zone fashion, most familiar idea will be using knowledge of events for financial gain.

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The difference in Parallel is this is not a story about one character going against the wishes of everyone else. This is a conscious decision from the entire group to commit what they see as victimless crimes. The film actually moves in the opposite direction with one person being reluctant to take advantage of the portal while the other three have few qualms.

This is a dangerous idea as it can lead to audiences being turned off by the characters. There are no altruistic motives in Parallel. The friends are out for themselves. This is staved off a little early on. The four are a group of app developers rushing to meet a deadline. The initial idea is to just complete their project in time.

Parallel is able to work for a couple of reasons. The story has a fable-like quality to it. The entire plot involves a large character arc. Things start for an arguably good reason, then escalate slowly until the darker side of human nature takes over. As the movie races towards its end, lessons are learned and there is a change. This is very strong writing.

The downside is the movie is fairly predictable. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is actually a normal quality in lesson based stories. But this does not translate as well in this film. This is especially true in Parallel’s case. There are too convenient plot points that help advance the story. 

Overall, Parallel is a very enjoyable movie. It is a decidedly different take on a standard premise. Great camerawork differentiates the alternate timelines while the performances and writing provide engrossing characters. The story can be a little too transparent at times, but this never stops it from being fun.

Available In Select Theaters & On Demand December 11, 2020

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