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Laramie Movie Scope: Coherence

Quantum entanglement

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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January 23, 2015 -- This is a different, more subtle kind of science fiction that explores ideas rather than special effects. It reminds me of films like “Looper” and “Primer” in its complexity. It isn't about time travel, but it does have what is known in the time travel genre as “the paradox of duplication,” that is multiple versions of the same person or persons coexisting at the same time and place.

A group of friends at a party start to notice strange things happening during the close passage of a comet. The lights go out in the neighborhood, except for one house. Despite an explicit warning from a scientist not to go outside the house, everybody does go outside, and weird things start happening.

A book, written by the same scientist who warned them not to go outside, has clues to what is happening. There is a discussion about “Schrödinger's cat” click on this link for an article explaining this thought experiment. This is related to the many worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. In the film this is expressed as multiple realities with people coexisting in the same time and space, who would normally be unknown to each other.

In this film, the passing comet somehow breaks down the barriers between these different realities and the people from different realities mingle with each other's reality, creating chaos. At first, the people don't know what is happening. A strange box brought back from another reality contains a ping pong paddle and pictures of people at the party with numbers written on the backs of the pictures.

After reading the many worlds theory, the people at the party hit on the idea of marking their house so that they will know it from all other houses in the many other worlds. They end up using a box with pictures in it and numbers on the back to mark their house. Gradually, they come to the realization that not all the people at the party are who they seem to be. Things get even stranger after that.

This film reminded me of a similar film from last year, “It's a Disaster.” This film, like that one, had a group of people at a party who are confronted with an unprecedented situation, and the veneer of civilization gradually is stripped away. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold. This film was not as funny as “It's a Disaster,” but it does cover some of the same emotional ground. While the character motivations in this film are pretty strange, the acting is solid by a cast of relative unknowns. This is a thought-provoking, complex science fiction story. It rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2015 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)