Oblivious, directed by lead actor Robert Michael, is a tale about handling the coming of death and those forces, be they paranormal or others, guiding one to a place of peace. Claire (Vanessa Lauren Gamble) has stage four aggressive brain cancer. Encouraged to take time off before another round of chemo, Claire and her husband Collin (Robert Michael) decide to visit a family property as an escape. As Claire struggles to deal with the end of her life, her negativity and existence are overwhelming, especially toward Collin, who tries to handle and comfort her.
Although not an uncommon story about life and confronting death as it approaches, the perspective offers an interesting non-linear approach. The journey is narrated, and guides like Willow (Naomi Grossman) appear to assist Claire in the final crossover. Nikki Blonsky’s voice-over presents prose of facing fear or that life is peaceful and death pleasant. It creates interesting breaks but distracts from watching the film as a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
The couple does not feel connected, perhaps due to Claire’s negativity and her process of leaving life, which starts to make sense as Colin makes plans for Claire’s burial and being with friends. Claire is gone when he mentions three weeks while playing pool with his friends when they only went to the family property for a week. This feels disjointed but answers for Claire’s actions and thoughts.
“…Claire struggles to deal with the end of her life…”
Throughout Oblivious, Claire hears glass clinking and wings fluttering, and when she sleeps, she dreams that she is a type of prisoner with black and a rope around her waist as if in a dungeon where a grim reaper figure tells her she’s not supposed to be there. When Claire wakes, Colin does not notice her, and he also disappears. However, Willow continues to say to accept what is coming.
The drama is slow-moving with dull conversation and needs more synergy with all its actors. The direction doesn’t fully harness the visual representations of the other side or a life on the brink. However, what it lacks in visual interest and production, it makes up for in an odd comfort to those facing death. The dialogue surrounds frank conversations about impending departure and how those left behind must move on. The messaging is important, especially for those who’ve recently experienced a loss.
Oblivious is a story that may explain paranormal events to those going through the inevitable that we all will face.
"…an odd comfort to those facing death."