Monday, September 8, 2014

Film Review and Ending Intepretation: Coherence

Copyright: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Simple plots and heavy physics was the combination that created the incredible film Primer. Not so long ago, its director Shane Carruth created Upstream Color, but his new science fiction film took a more symbolic turn (although it’s still an awesome film).

Coherence is a film that could have been perfectly in line with his older Carruth’s film. Its tale is extremely simple, and takes place during one night at a dinner party where old fiends converge to relax and catch up. Above them, an unusual comet is passing by, and its effects alter reality itself, as the guests soon begin to realize.

James Ward Byrkit made this film as his directorial debut, and he created something deeply impacting. By using a single house and its exteriors, he made due with a very solid acting crew that is, unfortunately, very far from Hollywood stardom (Maury Sterling is the most famous one in the cast, along with the veteran Nicholas Brendon). Maybe thanks to this fact, everyone had a point to prove, and they definitely did it with this movie. Coherence uses the paradox of the multiverse and the now very known (but rarely understood) thought experiment called the Schrodinger's cat.

In the act of mixing universes which branch out with every possible choice, Byrkit filmed a very understandable collapse of regular cause and effect system. The idea of this film isn’t that impressive, but the easiness in which he depicted it definitely is (especially thought the ingenious use of simple props to mark important cues of the story).

Instead of making a mess, Byrkit decided to focus on the character of Emily (played really well in a sober and rational manner by Emily Baldoni) and her plight to make some sense from this dire, mind-bending situation (which are full of that special kind of existential horror).

At the end, the film nicely ties up all its ideas, underlining the most important one – the notions about humanity, summed up in a thought from Brendon’s character Kevin where he states that maybe there are those evil versions of themselves they fear lurking in the night.

Coherence Movie Ending Explained

(Spoiler alert)

Coherence has somewhat of a strange, abrupt ending, and here is my explanation and interpretation of it. Emily understands that her version of reality is already polluted with people from different multiverses, and when they become violent, she flees. She travels to different multiverses, many of which became equally bad, until she finally finds one that looks normal and stable.

She takes care of her other self (the original one in that universe) by violent means, hoping that she will disappear (in other words, be left behind in some other version of reality) once the comet passes and its effect end. She fails, and then has to do it all over again back in the house, were original Emily manages to crawl back.

Thinking that two versions of her will merge into one once it was all over (even if the other is dead) she hits on the head and presumes that she killed her. The next morning she wakes up thinking everything is all right. But then, in the last scene, her boyfriend gets a call from her, which should mean that the other Emily is still there and alive, and with the comet gone, two versions of Emily are now a permanent condition.