Entanglement (2018)

Ben thinks his life his over after the end of his marriage. As he looks for ways to die, he finds a way to move on.

Directed by Jason James and written by Jason Filiatrault, Entanglement is an odd comedy about a man trying to kill himself after the woman he loved cheated on him and left. His wanting to die leads him into therapy as one would expect but also on a quest after finding out he almost had an adoptive sister. While looking for her, more about him is shown and his character is developed as an oddball who is oddly relatable and who is trying to survive against his own judgment of himself. The character is attaching and he is one that annoys at first and eventually grows on the viewer. The way this is written and put on screen makes the character feel human while still a bit odd while the entirety of film has a very specific feel to it that is hard to pinpoint but works for the story at hand.

Playing the lead of Ben is Thomas Middleditch who plays him well and gives him just the right amount of quirk. His performance is the basis of the film working or not and for some it won’t. For this viewer, it did and quirky is not something that is usually a forte. Middleditch’s performance works for the film and makes the film what it is. He sells the low key might be crazy, might not be crazy and the tale of letting go and finding oneself again. Playing within his madness is Jess Weixler as Hanna and her antithesis Diana Bang as Tabby. The two women play parts that each mean a lot to the lead and each bring him what he needs in different ways. Both actresses do great work giving performances that are different yet all around the same man and his situation. The cast has a few more people involved, almost all women and each gives a good performance.

The film has an interesting way of telling its story visually with cinematography by James Liston who uses the simple settings in a way that sets up the story to be easy to watch and make sense of. The film has visual identity that matches the lead and his needs. The way he sees life is how the film shows it. Adding to these visuals, the film has a few scenes with special and visual effects, done under the supervision of Lance Soler and Romald Geoffery respectively, these scenes are few and far in-between but their effects work well, adding to the story and to the suspicions some of the viewers might have about the lead.

Entanglement is a strangely sweet film about love and learning to let go and about what one needs to do to avoid going crazy or depressed. The writing is good and the performances support it well. It’s a quirky film that at first seems to be quirky for the sake of being quirky, but this soon changes as things get deeper and more complex and the lead character of Ben shows layers that were not obvious at first. It’s a type of film that will resonate with some people and not with others, but it’s also a film that when watched at the right time in one’s life, might have quite an effect.