A man, Mr. Hahn (Akshay Datta), has lost his daughter, Alloy (Mellissa Manzagol), in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. His life, as expected, has not been the same since the tragedy. However, in a world where jumping between two parallel universes is possible, this man knows there is a way to see his daughter again. Wicked Trails is the tale of Hahn and his attempts to reconnect with his deceased daughter through a series of events that are only known to some to be possible, Mr. Hahn will do whatever is necessary to find his daughter and patch up his shattered life.
There is an early conversation between an AI and a mysterious character, Miles (writer-director Deepanshu Singh), that is far more important than audiences might initially understand. This conversation between this character and Kathie (Mellissa Manzagol) proves to be quite clever and pivotal to audiences understanding the film. Kathie, a “fact machine,” can do nothing other than spew facts and relay information to the person (or people) that she is speaking to. Her purpose is to fill the blanks and keep audiences in the know, but keeping them just far enough in the dark to allow the suspense to live on, keeping viewers engaged. Without Kathie, it would be difficult for audiences to pick up on the fact that Wicked Trails takes place in the distant future, but she allows spectators to remain up to speed in a very precise and concise way.
“…Mr. Hahn will do whatever is necessary to find his daughter…”
The premise behind Singh’s Wicked Trails is incredibly interesting. He finds a way to incorporate real, deep emotions into a tale of interdimensional travel. It would be easy for these themes to be drowned out by the science-fiction elements, but Singh, with the help of his talented cast, allows those emotions to remain at the forefront and resonate with audiences. The emotion present as Mr. Hahn attempts to find his daughter is something that most viewers can connect with and engage with all that takes place throughout the Wicked Trails.
The emotion mentioned above, paired with the cast’s impeccable talent, brings the film to life and gives audiences something to relate to. These aspects keep the film and the story afloat and allow viewers to appreciate the work put into the development of the film. Datta has a mesmerizing voice that, even in the most mundane scenes, creates a sense of urgency and intensity, leading audiences to believe that there would be a major payoff at the end of the film. Sadly, this is not the case. I started to expect a significant revelation or a satisfying conclusion to what I had watched for an hour. With somewhat of a cliffhanger and an unsatisfying end to the film, Wicked Trails leaves audiences with a bad taste in their mouths.
After building up all that suspense, due to the passionate acting, and relatable emotion, Wicked Trails falls a bit short of expectations. Singh writes and directs beautifully, and Datta brings the passion of the script to life. Nearly everything about Wicked Trails is enjoyable except for the ending, and thus the film is, to a degree, disappointing. Count on the story and the acting to deliver, but don’t get your hopes up for the ending.
"…count on the story and the acting to deliver, but don’t get your hopes up for the ending."