Sci-Fi London Festival 2019: The Tangle

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18th May 2019

Waxing Lyrical In The Future

It’s not long before The Tangle, directed by Christopher Soren Kelly (“Ink”, “Infinity Chamber”), who also plays Edward, gets you thoroughly caught up in it’s sticky web.

You may well spend most of the film wondering what on earth is going on but as it progresses things do slowly fall into place.

The story follows two detectives trying to solve a seemingly unsolvable murder in a near future where everyone and everything is connected to a network: The Tangle.

The movie calls itself ‘lyrical’ and it certainly is in places but sometimes it’s poetic to the point where it becomes like wading through molasses which detracts from the storyline. 

The Tangle is still quite an interesting idea though and despite a slow middle section the film eventually draws to a satisfying conclusion, making sense of some very early scenes that seemed – for the majority of the film – to have no bearing on anything.

Sadly the opening scenes that are meant to draw you in a stay with you until the conclusion (where all becomes clear) aren’t really interesting enough to capture you and by the end of the movie they’re only vague memories.

Carter, Joshua Bitton (“One Dollar (TV)”), plays the part of the nervous, bullied convict convincingly and shows surprising compassion and emotion for Cleo.

The director also deserves praise for Carter though because he ensures the depth and story of the character isn’t given away all at once but slowly becomes untangled as the movie plays out.

The rest of the acting was also generally of a good standard – though I did find Nicole da Silva’s, Francesca a little trite. 

There’s a definite 1950’s air about the two detectives Edward and Laurel, Jessica Graham (“Monkeys”, “2 Minutes Later”), almost as if their job roles have kept them in the past.

Being forced to use ‘offline’ communication also added to this general feeling of retro-future which was defined the movie. Tracing through memories like an internet search history was also rather an interesting and original idea though it’s slid into the story rather subtly. 

The Tangle may have been shot on a small budget (we don’t know) but it does well not to overstretch itself and most of the movie is shot in a single room, this doesn’t feel restricting though, in fact it helps to add to the sense of isolation.

However there were one or two parts of the script that didn’t quite seem to hang together – the agents telling Carter that he was already going to be executed, when in fact that wasn’t the case at all, for example. 

The Tangle is the kind of film you could watch again and it could have inched into a higher result if the middle didn’t drag quite as much and a few of the scenes had been linked more satisfactorily. It was a good film though but a little bit of polishing here and there could have made it really shine.

A lyrical sci-fi feature from Christopher Soren Kelly.

17th May 2019

Christopher Soren Kelly

Christopher Soren Kelly

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