September 26, 2017

VIFF 2017 | Must See BC – 'Entanglement' in Blue

"The puppet thinks I'm hilarious."
VIFF 2017 | Thomas Middleditch Diana Bang Jason James | Entanglement

VIFF 2017—Shot in Vancouver, Jason James' strangely appealing yet simultaneously off-putting dark comedy, Entanglement, stars Silicon Valley actor Thomas Middleditch as Ben, a suicidal sad sack, who starts an unlikely relationship that further reveals his unresolved mental health issues after experiencing a painful divorce.

Jess Weixler co-stars as the mysterious stranger Ben meets and strikes up an unusual kinship with. She fully embraces the approachable vixen role almost too well embodying a manic elusiveness convincingly. Local actress Diana Bang provides an always welcome, but somewhat wasted, presence as Ben's neighbour/confidant without any real motivations of her own. Her character screams expository delivery machine and is largely used to aid Ben or move elements of the film's unusual plot forward.

Scripted by Calgary-based writer Jason Filiatrault, the film is full of typical indie movie clichés and weird but highly telegraphed circumstances used to superficially tease some of Ben's character growth. However, it wisely slows down to follow Middleditch's captivating, mannered performance. It's mostly a mishmash (a watchable one) of disparate parts made of interesting but scattered scenes exploring our own narcissistic tendencies only ever loosely tied together as an intentionally fractured whole.

The offbeat Entanglement rests on the talent of its likeable cast. James' artful yet demurred direction with a dash of magical realism masks some of the film's more troublesome elements while showcasing the actors' performances well. Despite a somewhat out there concept and tricky story, it's a fleeting character piece trying to make sense of our personal struggles and search for self-love.

Entanglement is screening at the 2017 Vancouver International Film Festival at the Rio Theatre (sponsored by Miss604) as part of the Sea to Sky and BC Spotlight streams.


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