Monday, April 22, 2013

VANISHING WAVES (aka AURORA) (2012) movie review

Vanishing Waves (aka Aurora) (2012) d. Buozyte, Kristina (Lithuania/France)

Scientists set up an elaborate Altered States-like experiment to see if two separate consciousnesses can interact, allowing a member of their team (Marius Jampolskis) to attempt to psychically synch up with comatose car accident victim Jurga Jutaite. The experiment is a success, in that a connection is made, but when the scientist decides to keep secret certain discoveries from the rest of his colleagues, it threatens both the validity of the test and the safety of its two subjects.

I must confess that while there is much to enjoy in this visually and intellectually stimulating cinematic exercise, I spent the entire film furious with Jampolskis’ character for being such an incredibly selfish jackhole. WORST SCIENTIST EVER. Just because you’ve become disenchanted with your current marital status and you luck into a little fling with someone’s subconscious, this does not give you permission to withhold findings, give imperfect results, tamper with a helpless patient’s physical and psychic health, etc. Truly an unpleasant protagonist whose motivations are never truly made clear until the end, nor do they justify the heinous misbehavior that has gone before. A little more development and/or different intentions might have gone a long way toward establishing character/audience symbiosis – as it was, I was dying to drop a dime on the guy for nearly two hours.

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