A reclusive physicist creates a mysterious machine in his basement that changes his life and all those around him.
Director – Zach LeBeau
Starring – Bill Sage, Adam LeFevre, Brittany Benjamin
What happens to us when we die? Surely a question that we have all asked ourselves at one time or another. The Scientist asks that question in the opening scene and then launches into one man’s attempt to try and reconnect, if you will, with his wife and daughter who have recently died. But if you’re looking for any type of answers, you won’t find them here. It’s as if the movie wants you to meditate the possibilities while watching the film, and the success of the film hinges on whether or not you’re willing to do just that.
For some, this movie will be a moving testament to the limits of what the human mind and psyche must go through when dealing with the loss of a loved one. For others, you’ll be wondering why our main character just doesn’t pick himself up and move on with his life. If you hadn’t figured it out, this movie is not one of those you pop in the DVD player on a sunny July afternoon for some escape. Save it for a cold January night when you are feeling down, and that isn’t meant to sound harsh. The themes in this movie can run deep, and since most of the movie is spent watching someone grieve, well, misery loves company, you know.
It hadn’t always been this way for Dr. Marcus Ryan (played by Bill Sage). From what we can gather from the limited information given he was and by all accounts still is a brilliant scientist. He was very much in love with his wife and daughter and together they had the perfect life and home. But that all got destroyed by the death of his wife and daughter. The movie never says how they died but one can assume that is was not only unexpected, but very quick.
This has left Dr. Ryan a total mess and a recluse. He has basically withdrawn from all society save for an occasional venture outside the house. His fellow scientist and good friend Dr. Alan Reed (played wonderfully by Adam LeFevre) stops by on a regular basis to see how he is doing and even tries to convince him to get out more and perhaps even get back into some type of teaching role at the college.
But Dr. Ryan will hear nothing of it. He has bigger plans, something that he has been working on feverishly in the basement. And what is he trying do? Reach out and connect with the stream of consciousness that he believes his wife and daughter to be on, a particular wavelength of time and space, if you will. In short, he’s trying to tune into their frequency. The contraption seems simple enough, at least what they show of it, but when he actually starts to get results, he not only finds changes happening to himself, but to those around him as well.
Overall I would have to say I liked this movie, but as mentioned above it certainly is not for everyone. It is more of a character study film than anything else, and don’t get fooled by any science fiction labels you might find attached to it. This is a drama, pure and simple. Sure there are some very brief scientific discussions but they are here more to add depth of the characters.
The acting is really superb with Bill Sage leading the way as the troubled and grieving Dr. Ryan. His facial expressions really convey the amount of pain and despair he is feeling. Kudos to Adam LeFevre as his friend who just wants to do whatever he can to help. The directing is well done but I do have to mention that the sound can be annoying. Sometimes too high, sometimes too low.
All in all, I would say catch this if you find yourself in the aforementioned gloomy situation on a January night. There is some real and raw power here, you just don’t want it ruining your sunny July day.