Every once in a while, I’ll leave a movie scratching my head—in a good way.
I liked it, but what the hell did I just watch?
If you’ve seen Christopher Nolan’s “Memento,” or more recently, Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” then you probably know the feeling.
You leave the theater (or the couch), playing the movie over and over again in your head, as you try to decipher the twists and turns of the mindbending story.
Darren Paul Fisher’s ambitious movie “Frequencies” requires a bit of these brain gymnastics. However, at first, the plot isn’t confusing. It’s just a little weird.
Put simply, in the world of “Frequencies,” everyone is born with a certain quantifiable capacity for luck known as “frequency.”
Take, for example, the protagonist of the film, Zak (Daniel Fraser).
Zak’s frequency is exceptionally low, meaning he’s exceptionally unlucky. As his school teacher puts it, it’s impossible for him to be in the right place at the right time.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s, Marie (Eleanor Wyld), an extremely high frequency individual. Marie never misses a train, and Marie is in the right place at the right time.
To make matters more complicated, frequencies interfere with emotions.
The higher frequency an individual is, the less emotional. In fact, Marie’s frequency is so high that she can’t feel anything.
So what’s this have to do with the film’s story?
Well, at an early age, Zak falls in love with Marie. But before Zak has time to worry about flirting, there’s a problem.
Zak is such a low frequency and Marie is such a high frequency that they can’t interact for more than 60 seconds—they literally and scientifically are repelled by each other.
Thus, Zak embarks on a quest to find out how to change frequency so that Marie will have emotions and they can be together for more than a minute.
This first half of the movie is 80 percent science fiction and 20 percent romance. It’s digestible.
The second half—well, that’s another story.
On top of the initial theory of “Frequencies,” more theoretical science is thrown in, and the story starts to get a little out of hand.
Without spoiling anything major, the second half is full of philosophical questions, mind control, flashbacks and other twists and turns.
Most of “Frequencies” is thought-provoking, and the plot addresses interesting topics like determinism.
The philosophical, mindbending nature drives the film—it forces the viewer to pay attention and think about the movie.
But it’s also where “Frequencies” fails.
These confusing, thought-provoking films need balance. They need just the right amount of confusion with just the right amount of explanation. And with “Frequencies,” the scale tips too far on the side of confusion.
With too many unanswered questions, the plot becomes frustrating and nonsensical.
But other than the fact that the second half was a tad too convoluted, “Frequencies” is a good film.
And, afterwards, while you might be a little dumbfounded, I can guarantee that you’ll rush to your computer, scouring the Internet for fan explanations of the confusing, but interesting, mindbender.