TIFF14 REVIEW: Entangled [2014]

Score: 9/10 | ★ ★ ★ ½

Rating: NR | Runtime: 16 minutes | Release Date: 2014 (Canada)
Studio: Gyro Park Productions
Director(s): Tony Elliott
Writer(s): Tony Elliott

“Are you sure that’s the place?”

Anyone willing to dive down the rabbit hole of quantum entanglement to exist in two places simultaneously is doing so for a reason. You may delude yourself into believing its for science or the simple fact of proving it can be done, but there’s a personal secret hiding beneath any ideas of social application. Why else wouldn’t the experimenter let his girlfriend in on the challenge? Why would he (Aaron Abrams‘ Malcolm) allow her (Christine Horne‘s Erin) to witness the incoherent, institutionalized ramblings of a brain-dead boyfriend in the aftermath without explanation? You cannot therefore blame her for doing all she can to discover the truth in an attempt to make him whole again.

In a year full of great science fiction, “Orphan Black” scribe Tony Elliott‘s short film Entangled is yet another worthwhile addition. Dealing more with the ramifications of such an invention—a laser that can sever you into two identical beings coexisting miles away from the other—than the technology itself, the film becomes a hubristic document of one man’s efforts to conceal being the exact cause of his exposure. But even at Malcolm’s worst, love prevails in bittersweet tragedy. Both he and Erin discover how the strain of being in two places at once is too much to bear and they look at their life together before making the sacrificial decision to rip off the Band-Aid and end their suffering.

Abrams and Horne give emotively captivating performances as layers are revealed to show the flawed and very human reasoning for their characters’ predicament. We watch her Erin and their colleague Cameron (Joey Klein) rush headfirst into the path of this laser as Elliott splits his screen in a burst of light. Showing her simultaneously in the basement of Malcolm’s laboratory and an unknown barn is invigorating; the steps necessary to prove what’s happened concisely lain out so we can focus on the inevitable confrontation with their not so vegetative patient. Whether you read it at face value as the brain’s inability to sustain two concurrent lives or a metaphor for a liar’s conscience sabotaging his deception, Entangled is a delightfully inventive gem.

courtesy of TIFF

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