Making Sense Image

Making Sense

By Alan Ng | April 26, 2021

As the team begins to uncover sensory enlightenment, Jules suspects that Amberger is hiding a secret and might be using her and her team for selfish and maybe illegal reasons. The tipoff was probably the fact that they are being pursued by FBI Agents Nichols (Lily Yasuda) and Fuller (Jim Quinn).

The story behind Making Sense is probably its biggest attraction. Still today, issues surrounding inclusion are an issue every filmmaker faces. As much as I love The Upside, the role of the disabled lead was given to Bryan Cranston (who was great), but questions arose about why an actor with disabilities could not have played the role (a more extensive debate). But here, the filmmakers dedicated themselves to finding actors with disabilities to play as many roles as possible. Each of the lead actors had the respective diminished sense as their character.

“…dedicated themselves to finding actors with disabilities to play as many roles as possible.”

Now with artistic integrity entirely in place, is Making Sense a good movie? Well, it’s worth watching, but it has some weaknesses. The film is a low-budget indie shot in Idaho, whose story is its biggest weakness. That is the disadvantage indie filmmakers have against the big studios, especially in the arena of science fiction. The main idea is that each lead has a missing sense and therefore heightened other ones. There are moments when we see examples of heightened senses, and their “powers” are used at the end, but the presentation and payoff left me unsatisfied. I wanted more attention paid to the senses versus the theory of sensory enlightenment.

But I’m impressed with the number of locations the filmmakers used throughout the movie. There are some off-the-shelf special effects used which aren’t too bad, and the local actors are good. If anything, the movie proves you can find good actors with disabilities and give them the chance to get their reps in and widen your pool of actors to pull from.

Our senses as a storytelling device are something we as an audience can relate to and connect with. But the ultimate endgame of how Making Sense uses them is not. It reminded me of the ending of Contact. I loved the build-up but was left wanting at the end.

Making Sense (2021)

Directed: Gregory Bayne

Written: Gregory Bayne, Doug Cole

Starring: Jessi Melton, Richard Klautsch, Justin Ness, Miguel Ayala, Makenzie Ellsworth, Taylor Gonzalez, Brooke Burton, Mike Barnett, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

Making Sense Image

"…proves you can find good actors with disabilities..."

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