Neil (David Magowan) and Heather (Caspian Faye) meet at a party and instantly hit it off. They spend all of their time with one another and quickly fall in love; life has never seemed better. One day, however, the couple meets Machlis (Brian Carter), a man claiming to be a medium of sorts. Supposedly, he possesses the ability to access “the Parallel,” an alternate reality where your being is different only by what drives you as a person. When both Neil and Heather experience their parallel, their relationship becomes turbulent. The journey has strained their relationship in ways they never expected. Can Neil and Heather overcome these obstacles and stay together?
Parallel is a low-budget, erotic drama written by Magowan and directed by Alexander Cooper and Ieva Makselyte. While the ideas presented can be considered far-fetched, the screenwriter/star does a wonderful job of developing the characters and their plight through honest and relatable dialogue. Dialogue can be the most troubling aspect of a script, but the conversations here feel realistic, even in the most improbable moments.
In those improbable moments, Magowan and Faye are tasked with conveying a slew of emotions that run wildly throughout the film. These two young, talented individuals put the story and movie on their shoulders and bring to life something peculiar — simplicity. Even in the strangest of scenes, Magowan, Faye, and the rest of the cast are asked to convey emotion in the most rudimentary of fashions, paving the way for a potentially overacted film. However, the actors deal with this beautifully and communicate each feeling and thought truthfully. The actors possess a chemistry strong enough to ably lead the audience through this twisted story of love and lust.
“Neil and Heather meet at a party and the two instantly hit it off.”
While there is much to love about Parallel, the lack of expertise within the audio and visual departments wound the production in unexpected ways. The cinematography is shaky, literally, making some of the scenes, regardless of how well-acted, difficult to watch. As the camera shakes back and forth throughout some of the more pivotal scenes, viewers begin to struggle with motion sickness and irritation as they do their best to focus on the interesting content.
While the cinematography is enough to frustrate viewers, the audio creates additional levels of annoyance for those watching. The audio fades, getting quieter and quieter until it eventually ramps up so loud that it becomes deafening. It seems the only logical explanation as to why this is happening is a result of the boom being moved back and forth, further and closer to the subject throughout the filming. The combination of these shortcomings becomes intensely frustrating, stomping out some of the brilliance that lives within the script and the acting.
Yes, there are issues with Parallel that are difficult to overlook, but it would be entirely unfair to discount the beauty that exists within Magowan’s vision. He is the reason that the movie finds success at all. He wrote a script with relatable characters and an intriguing high concept. As the film plays out and viewers struggle to come to terms with the various shortcomings, all that Magowan, Faye, and the rest of the cast have to offer tantalizes viewers, giving them a reason to appreciate what is being offered.
In the movie’s closing moments, it becomes apparent that it mirrors the real world in some truly unique ways, forcing viewers to analyze both the story itself and their lives. The existential nature of what Magowan brings to life is nothing short of spectacular. Anyone who has the opportunity to watch Parallel will be better as a result.
"…the existential nature of what Magowan brings to life is nothing short of spectacular."