I’ve mentioned this before, and it won’t be the last time either, that I am not a huge sci-fi fan. But lately I have been coming around to the genre with current psychological sci-fi thrillers like Under the Skin and Honeymoon. Coherence breaks out enough into the psychological realm to really pique my interest and that it does. This film is a freaking mind-trip!
It follows one evening in the life of four couples. They all meet under one roof for a friendly gathering of dinner and drinks. What’s different about this night is the hot topic of conversation- the impending comet about to break through the sky. Supposedly “strange” things can happen when a comet is so close to Earth. What this means for this group of friends is yet to be known, until the comet approaches and all the electricity goes out.
There is one house on the street whose lights are still on. Two of the men decide to walk the few blocks to the lighted home to hopefully use a working phone. When they come back they seem spooked, though it is unclear by what until the possibility of theoretical selves and divergent realities arises. How well do you know your friends? How well do you know yourself? These are the kind of questions you start asking yourself.
Confused yet? Don’t be. As far as the plot goes, I can’t really say much more about it without giving a lot away. This is intelligent and tight story-telling so it is imperative to listen to every line of dialogue. When the film really gets going, it seems a little mind-boggling at first but once you wrap your head around this intensely interesting plot it is hard to let go.
The idea of looming doom with unknown consequences vaguely reminds me of one of my favorite films- Melancholia. Waiting for this unidentified fate leaves an anxious pit in my stomach and the cast does a convincing job of wrapping the audience into the plot.
All of the characters are interesting in their own right. They all have pasts that we, as the audience, are dying to know about. The tension between the characters is genuinely believable. Problems from each of their pasts that have been ignored are exasperated and come to the surface, unfolding and falling apart before our eyes. This film is as much about the interactions between these friends as it is about their ambigious future existence.
Coherence takes your mind to places and ideas you have never thought before. To me, it’s like a more approachable version of Primer (2004), minus all the time-travelling stuff. Primer is incomprehensible at times while Coherence takes the time to explain everything in an open-minded and exciting way. Regardless if you are a sci-fi fan or not, I highly recommend this tense thriller to any kind of movie watcher.
It’s available to stream on Amazon Prime now.
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