The Tangle is a high-minded sci-fi movie written and directed by Christopher Soren Kelly. It has the feel of your low-budget thinking indie flick while also infused with a black and white classic whodunit police procedural. The Tangle tells the story of a future where everyone lives in a virtual world connected by nano-technology that was released into the air by a group of tech geniuses. No one actually uses their senses anymore instead it’s all in the mind. A kind of internet of the brains that humanity now lives in which is called The Tangle. But one of the original members of the tech group responsible for The Tangle has been murdered. Three people who live outside of The Tangle now must find the murderer.
The idea of a virtual computer world is not something all together new but there are original touches to this incarnation. For instance the idea that to get into this world is not optional. You get on The Tangle by letting yourself be infected by nano-bots. Once inside this computerized landscape there is only limited ways to get out. Another interesting take is that The Tangle actually prevents you from hurting anybody or yourself. As explained early in the movie if you were going to hurt yourself or someone else you would be physically prevented from doing so almost like a knee-jerk reflex.
There were lots of directions something like this could have taken. However this film decides to be very minimalist in its approach. There are literally only 7 actors in the entire film and 2 of those actors only contribute their voice. Most of the movie takes place in a single room. While police interrogations and a murder investigation drive the narrative there is much poetry and waxing philosophical. This is not a movie that wants you to turn off your mind for any of it. Lines like “The world’s been playing with fire since the discovery of fire” abound.
Although there are some interesting concepts and questions brought up in the movie there was some definite unevenness to it. The first 12 minutes or so I found confusing as your dropped right into this world trying to understand what’s going on. The acting is a little stilted at times. The ending also seemed muddled. I personally wasn’t quite sure what the overall thesis was that the story was trying to get across. Perhaps it was trying to leave it up to the viewer but I still found it somewhat unsatisfying.
That being said for those who want an anti-thesis to the clear cut blockbusters in the multiplexes this movie might be right up your alley. It is a high-minded narrative that demands focus.Some moments feel a little over the top but others feel like poetry.There are definitely interesting points brought up they just never seem to get much traction. The film feels more like a conversation starter rather than a part of a conversation.Not bad for passing some time on a rainy day but not quite fulfilling either.
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Credits: The Tangle is property of The Tangle. We do not own nor claim any rights. Official selection of GenreBlast Film Festival 2019.