Parents and children are the fraught center of many a drama. In director Kemo Diatta’s entry into the tormented world of bad parents and messed up kids, Interface, we find two sisters, Claire (Samm Wiechec) and Kaley (Makenna Perkal). Their father was killed in a car accident, and their mother, Michelle (Robyne Richards), is comatose and near death. To save her, they learn of a risky experimental option called the Interface. It’s a method of hypothetically entering an unconscious mind and reviving the patient. So far, trials have failed. However, Claire has an ace up her sleeve. She has had visions from the multiverse that an iteration of herself successfully completes one. Now all she needs is to figure out how to make it work in this reality.
Writers Diatta and Rebecca Norris take a page from Everything Everywhere All at Once and blend in Bergman-esque family drama. This combination makes for a most fascinating science fiction thriller. The low-key vibe centered around the multiverse is pretty cool. In Claire’s reality, if you have the time to figure out how to build a portal machine, not a gun, mind you, you too can traverse across the dimensions humanity dwells in. Further, I enjoyed that each new reality was only subtly distinct from the last.
“…a method of hypothetically entering an unconscious mind and reviving the patient.”
Claire and her companion Peter (Havon Baraka) anchor the action. Baraka is pretty good at realistic, sloppy action. It’s the violence you should expect to see if anyone actually does fisticuffs. Slow, vaguely coordinated, and dangerous. I enjoyed his encounter with an alternate Shadow (Christopher J. Robinson). The main reality version of Shadow was well done as well. The acting is quite strong in this film. This is ideal, as they clearly wish to understate and draw out the special effects. While the visual effects are sparse, they are very well done. I enjoyed a subtle nod to Blade Runner 2049 that exists in the first dimension Peter and Claire visit; you’ll have to watch Interface to figure out what that was. I shan’t spoil it.
With Interface, we are introduced to the world-building imagination of Diatta. This is his first feature film, and it is a very solid start. I enjoyed the expansive vision he crafted working with fairly limited resources. The fact that the odds are stacked against finding a different result to certain actions was an intriguing decision that adds to the world-building. This dimension-hopping family drama/intrigue-action piece was pretty great. I look forward to seeing what he creates next.
Interface is an introspective, brooding film with moments of high-octane adrenaline. If Diatta and his team keep at it, I expect a sci-fi action masterpiece out of them one day. This is a very credible start to a promising career. Seek the film out if you enjoy any of the genres the director blends together. It will absolutely be worth your time to stream this or find it at an art-house theater. Truly, this is an out-of-this-world good time.
"…an out-of-this-world good time."