Synchronicity: “The coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
The term “synchronicity” was brought into popular use by Dr. Carl Jung, a psychologist who believed synchronistic events, which he termed “meaningful coincidences,” could help shape an individual’s life.
Jacob Gentry’s indie sci-fi film “Synchronicity” plays with this concept across multiple parallel universes, always drawing us one step closer to the place where science fiction and the paranormal meet as a physicist attempts to determine the truth about his time machine, the woman he loves, and the mysterious motives of his benefactor.
There’s a lot to love about this film: the soundtrack, by Ben Lovett, the cinematography, by Eric Maddison, and the cast, especially Chad McKnight and Brianne Davis (You may recognize Chad McKnight from his work on “ER” as Officer Wilson, and Brianne Davis from such projects as “Jarhead” and “Hollywood Heights”).
Ben Lovett’s score is both reminiscent and futuristic, with an homage to the heavy use of synth in 1980’s science fiction films, and a shot of the future, an ethereal, haunting quality that gives one the feeling of the grandness of space.
The cinematography complements the score to perfection, never turning gritty or bright, but maintaining a balance between dim lighting and bright spots. Even if there was no dialogue, it would be a film worth watching for the music and picture alone.
Instead of rehashing common time travel plotlines, “Synchronicity” uses time travel as a backdrop (where it can best be used, in my opinion, without growing too complicated or unbelievable) to the love story between Jim and Abby. The combination of science fiction and love story evolve into a complicated puzzle regarding relationships and time, and the events that synchronize to make things happen.
There’s always that thought in our heads when we’re with someone, “What if we had never met?” or, “How much time do we have together?” We have a chance to thank the people in our lives, and though the universe cannot promise us more time, we’re always grateful for just one more minute with the ones we love.
This is where Jim and Abby are, with an added layer of “Can I trust you?” While Jim deals with the effects of the time machine and his benefactor’s interest in the project, he comes to believe that Abby didn’t manage to arrive at the perfect time all by herself – there’s a more sinister reason for her appearance. Abby, on the other hand, must decide where her loyalties lie and try to find a way to rescue Jim from the repercussions of the time machine before he’s lost forever.
The cinematography plays into this as well, keeping people in shadow, providing an intimate setting for whispered conversations, and imbuing it all with an undertone of mystery. Who is Jim’s benefactor? What does he really want? How does the time machine work? Does it work like Jim thought it would? And what happens when the resources run out? The answers are hidden in plain sight.
What I enjoyed most about “Synchronicity” was how easy it was to slip into the world and believe in it. Its seamless cohesiveness (from sound to look to cast) created a beautiful world I wanted to live in, even if only for a few minutes. It’s difficult to do that with a story that has to go outside the limits of our world, but “Synchronicity” captured the rare feeling of euphoria you get when you discover a natural wonder or a new place. It’s mesmerizing.
I feel like I need to watch “Synchronicity” a few more times to get the full effect, but on first viewing, I believe this is a truly unique, gorgeous science fiction film in the tradition of streamlined futurism. It speaks to both our need to explore the universe, and our place within it, besides the people we love.
f you’re curious about “Synchronicity”, it is available for streaming via Netflix Instant. You can also purchase your own copy via Amazon.
Check out the trailer below:Image Credits: Magnet Releasing