Exploring Dimensions: The Intriguing World of ‘Parallel [REVIEW]

parallel review

“Parallel,” a 2024 thriller, emerges from the imaginative minds of a talented trio: Aldis Hodge, Edwin Hodge, and Johnathan Keasey. It stands as one of the latest dramatic science fiction thrillers, delving into the exploration of multi-dimensions and dimensional travel.”
For years, science fiction narratives have explored themes of time travel, parallelisms, doppelgangers, and multi-dimensionality. The measure of creative potential lies not only in reconfiguring these core principles but also in crafting unique scenarios and settings to delve deeper into these subjects. “Parallel” represents a creative venture building upon a previous work, “Parallel Forest,” which tackled scientific and strange phenomena. What sets “Parallel” apart is its utilization of a distinct scenario and a cast featuring Black actors.
The narrative unfolds predominantly within a forest bordering a magnificent, storied house inhabited by a man, his wife, and his brother. The film’s focus revolves around the couple, and from the onset, signs of strain become apparent. The dynamics between them resemble a ticking time bomb, poised to detonate. The viewers are not left to wonder about the causality. In the initial moments, the film elucidates the origin of their struggle—a quest for stability following a post-traumatic event.

Danielle Deadwyler embodies the role of a distraught, grieving mother teetering on the brink of mental collapse, a situation deeply understandable given her struggle with the loss of her son. Aldis Hodge, in the role of her husband, endeavors to provide solace and guide his wife through the challenging period of grief. However, the tension in their relationship has reached a breaking point. As tensions escalate to a boiling point, the wife sets off on a journey to seek peace and solace. Yet, her excursion into the forest unfolds with unexpected twists. She confronts a reality that goes beyond her expectations, setting the stage for a transformative experience that will reshape her life and challenge her understanding of what is real.

Undoubtedly, Parallel’s premise is intriguing. Early in the narrative, the leading lady’s descent into madness serves as a captivating focal point. The deliberate omission of specific details by the character adds to the mystery, effectively drawing viewers in. However, it’s the revelation of the “Us” moment she encounters that truly captivates the audience, compelling them to remain engaged to uncover more. This sets a high expectation for clarity and purpose, yet disappointingly, the story falls short of providing a comprehensive explanation. While the narrative mentions the father of the two brothers and his discoveries, it merely hints at connections, leaving breadcrumbs scattered throughout without a fully confirmed link, which may leave some viewers feeling unsatisfied.

Parallel maintains a moderate pace throughout its 88-minute runtime, offering twists and turns that satisfy the audience’s desire for entertainment. However, it demands the utmost attentiveness from viewers. While the underlying premise of doppelgangers traveling through parallel times (worlds) is confirmed through dialogue, it still leaves plenty of room for confusion.

Those acquainted with the previous works of Hodge and Deadwyler recognize their skill in wielding their craft. They have both showcased a strong ability to emote and deeply move audiences, as seen in “Till” or “One Night in Miami.” However, in this particular piece, they seem to lack the nuance required to portray the diverse iterations of themselves effectively, making it challenging for viewers to fully distinguish one persona from another. This contributes significantly to the narrative’s confusion. On a positive note, the climactic moments portrayed in the charged conflicts are notable. The evident character development throughout these varied conflicts speaks to a robust story progression. For those who prefer endings on a positive note rather than a somber one, “Parallel” delivers.
The creators of “Parallel” make a commendable effort to deliver a solid and entertaining story despite the inherent complexity of the concept, the number of actors involved, and the requirements for believability. They endeavor to establish distinctiveness in the characters’ lives by portraying variations in life events, expressed through dialogue.

However, crafting characters with noticeable differences, allowing the audience to easily discern their individuality, demands a more concerted effort. Do not anticipate leaving with a full understanding of what triggered the events, how long they have been unfolding, or what might close the interdimensional door. Regrettably, these aspects leave lingering questions. Barring these factors, “Parallel” makes for an entertaining evening and is a great spark for intriguing conversation.

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