CURVATURE is a time travel sci-fi drama about an engineer who travels back in time to stop herself from committing a murder.
Curvature is a time-travel, sci-fi/thriller from producer/director Diego Hallivis and his producer brother Julio Hallivis.
The film enjoyed its World Premiere at the Fourth Annual Filmquest Film Festival in Provo, Utah.
Lyndsy Fonseca is Helen. She’s a high-tech and high intelligence engineer. After her scientist husband Wells’ (Noah Bean of Twelve Monkeys – the TV show) tragic death, she’s been walking about in a fog. Her husband’s partner, Tomas (prolific character actor Glenn Morshower) has come to her to ask that he continue the top-secret work which was left in the balance after Wells’ demise. She agrees. Turns out that Tomas and Wells have been working on time travel and have basically cracked the code. Helen wakes up one morning – unsure of what day it is, and thus begins her scramble to find out what happened to her, what her husband was working on and what actually happened to him. Along for the ride is her co-worker/friend Alex (Zack Avery).
The Terminator’s Linda Hamilton appears in an all-too brief performance as Florence, one of Helen’s former professors. She’s a welcome addition to the cast and you’ll certainly wish she was provided additional screen-time. Per the filmmakers, they also wanted more and in fact, had planned for additional scenes with the screen legend, but due to some family strife, Hamilton had to cut out a bit early. But even in the bits we do get to see her, she makes an impact. She’s genuine and her line delivery is effortless.
As for the rest of the cast, I was less than impressed with their work.
As Helen, Lyndsy Fonseca is fine, but her performance is unable to completely engage the audience. She properly emotes when necessary, but I didn’t care much about Helen’s plight. The idea behind the story was interesting, but Fonseca’s Helen (both in performance and writing) wasn’t terribly sympathetic. I think it may be that she’s a scientist, and the film is unable to get past her – what I’ll term – coldness. Obviously, the character is also in that aforementioned fog of grief. I can understand all of the choices, but in the end – those choices don’t make me root for Helen.
Glenn Morshower is a recognizable face and a good actor, but I’ll again blame the script/direction for his shortcomings in Curvature. I can’t say much without spoiling a few things, but it’s a dreadfully cliché direction which his character takes and so it feels as though Morshower chews the scenery a bit.
I’ll be particularly hard on Zack Avery as Helen’s confidante Alex. He’s supposed to be something of a slight comic relief to the film, but that – along with his attempts to sympathize with Helen (he too lost a spouse) – just don’t ring true.
It seems the common denominator for the less than performances (overall) is the poor writing. So in this case, I feel I’ll have to lay blame at the feet of screenwriter Brian DeLeeuw. Again, the story and overall idea are intriguing. And there is a decent build to the proceedings. The shortcoming appears to be in the character relationships and character dialogue. Mystery is solved.
The film has some amazing chase scenes (most of the film is a big chase) and action sequences. Of note is a car chase which ends on a high (if upside-down) note. Frankly, it was one of those moments which feel extra impressive, knowing that you’re seeing an indie film. Always a pleasure to see some real ingenuity.
Sadly, an early sequence which gets things going (Helen waking up in her living room), really starts the film off with a bang – but the film can’t sustain this early promise.
In the film’s defense, I never felt as though the piece became convoluted. It’s tough to succeed on that level if you’re a time travel piece. It seemed all pretty clear to me. Not that the mystery was totally un-mysterious, but the pacing felt right.
There’s a big reveal scene which was a bit tough to swallow. Not only did it reveal the true intentions/colors of one of the characters which you’ll see coming from a mile away, it also was a dreadful scene for the actors. I didn’t buy any of the conversation between the two characters, or any of the moments they found in the scene. It was a stand-out moment in the film, and not in a good way.
The film suffers from what I’ll term as “The Stormtrooper Syndrome”. Kraviz (the man on Helen’s tail all throughout the film) is unable to get his hands on Helen. And every time he gets close, she narrowly escapes. It became such a tiresome and almost unbelievable motif – you’ll have to liken Kraviz’s investigative or “heavy-man” skills to the shooting abilities of any of the Star Wars saga’s Stormtroopers. This guy is terrible at his job.
The bottom line here is that the film is sleekly-produced. It really does look great, and the overall concept is interesting. But things start to go wrong with many of the performances, as a result of not-so-great character development in the script itself. And if we don’t care about these people, great car chases and fun time travel tropes – just can’t pick up the slack.
The film was nominated for several awards at Filmquest, including Best Feature Director for Diego Hallivis (WINNER), Best Lead Actress in a Feature for Lyndsy Fonseca, Best Supporting Actor in a Feature for Glenn Morshower, Best Sound in a Feature (WINNER), Best Score for a Feature and Best Ensemble Cast in a Feature
Curvature will continue its festival run with a showing at the 17th Annual Shriekfest Film Festival in Los Angeles.