Year: 2022
Production Co: Scarlett Pictures
Director: Adam Sigal
Writer: Adam Sigal
Cast: Thomas Mann, John Malkovich, Rosa Salazar

The fatal flaw with this movie is that if you watch it without having read anything about the premise, you'll have absolutely no idea what that premise is.

Because it's actually a great idea, and though I'm loath to spoil it here there'd be nothing to talk about in this review otherwise. An official infrastructure staffed by professionals oversees the process of reincarnation, and a professional supervisor has to handle the resulting system failure when a young man meets and falls in love with someone he loved in a previous life.

But to watch it you'd have absolutely no idea of that, not even at the end when the 'doctor' (John Malkovich) tell the hero what's gone wrong and what he now has to do to deal with the screwup.

It'd be bad enough that the movie doesn't explain itself enough, but the script and direction by Adam Sigal wants to make everything else overly weird as well, and you're constantly left wondering what's actual plot and what's just window dressing to establish the bona fides of the aesthetic.

A man who floats a few feet above ground in the apartment building where the character all live? An attractive young woman who also has the spirit of an angry, profane British man inside her, either as a possessing ghost or an acute case of split personality? A menacing zookeeper obsessed with encouraging the last two members of a turtle species to mate?

They're all there, but what do they have to do with the essential story? Nothing I could discern, they're just there to make the apartment building Harrison (Thomas Mann) moves into a fairground of weird.

Harrison does so around the time he's seeing a psychiatrist (Malkovich, inexplicably wearing a bring red wig of curly hair) who's treating him for some malady – the only symptom of which seems to be a recurring dream Harrison's had his entire life of a particular nondescript moment in his childhood.

In short order he meets some of the other residents, but he's most fascinated by the sweet and no nonsense Maria (Rosa Salazar), who he soon starts a romantic relationship with.

He enjoys her company but the dream he keeps having gets a little more advanced each time, so things get a bit more urgent, but even a week after watching I can't for the life of me remember exactly how so, just that it leads to a Bond villain scene of the antagonist explaining (and not very well, either) to Harrison – and us – exactly what's gone on for the last hour.

Mann looks bored, Salazar is cute and engaging, but there are too many ideas that are mentioned once and never revisited and the gap between the idea and the execution has seldom been wider in a movie.

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