Mark Metcalf
Moving Pictures

“Apart,” Romance and hocus-pocus

By - Apr 5th, 2012 11:26 am

A pivotal scene in “Apart.”

Apart, written and directed by Aaron Rottinghaus, is caught in the middle of many inspirations.  Romeo and Juliet drives the main story line.  Donnie Darko haunts the overall mystery and feel of the film.  And I suppose we will endure many stories of strangely-endowed-outsider love until the Twilight series is out of our cultural system.  Which can’t happen too soon for my money.

The film jumps around in time as the young leading man tries to unravel the mystery of his father’s death and his own amnesia.  It would be too confusing to relate it to you as we see it so I’ll give you the chronological version.

Noah and Emily have been best friends since second grade, but Noah has never had the nerve to approach Emily romantically.  When he finally does at the Senior Prom, they go from zero to sixty before the slow dance has ended.  It was in the stars.

But so was a very rare psychological affliction in which they share visions of disaster, and even before their first embrace bad things begin to happen all around them.  Students die, Noah’s father dies, there’s a fire that nearly kills Noah and forces Emily into seclusion.  All tragedies are foreseen jointly and are inevitable.

The film opens as Noah begins his recovery.  He progresses from nearly comatose to fully ambulatory in 15 minutes of film time, which feels like a miracle.  The rest of the film follows him as he tries to fill in the missing parts of his memory of  THAT NIGHT.  First he has to find Emily and together they learn the slight twist on the classic horror movie moral:  Sex makes you bleed.  Or in this case: Love makes everyone around you bleed.

There are nice performances from relative newcomers, Olesya Rulin as Emily and Josh Danziger, who also co-wrote the script, as Noah.  Some adventurous editing keeps the pace up and helps make the mystery more compelling.  I think the cinematographer is trying something with color to heighten and clarify the jumping around in time, but it doesn’t work.  It ends up being confusing. Finally, all you can think is: Well, it’s a low budget movie and so what if it gets a little erratic.

So what, indeed.

Apart opens Friday, April 6th at the Downer on Downer.



Categories: Movies

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