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A diver stranded at sea astral-projects into the past to save his future self from drowning.

I have to say I fucking love time travel, and was pretty much excited by the 10-second title-card before the film even started. Here we find a real high stakes concept married to this particularly bizarre there’s-no-place-like-home logic of time travel. So sold.

Some very slick editing and cinematography was let down by a really small framing problem, as we’re clearly watching the struggling scuba diver from the safe confines of a boat. I wanted to be in the water with him, seeing stuff from his point of view, being as scared as he was. The high angle gave an almost comical look to the film (audience laughter in the opening shot?), and it took me a while to get a hang of the serious tone of the film.

I found the incorporation of the random elements pretty jarring. It is kind of challenging given the concept of the film (stuck at sea, talking to himself), but make sure you’re not spelling it out too clearly for the audience (the underlining of I LIED made me cringe).

Having the last shot played under the final credit undercut a pretty bold ambiguous ending. I say go one-way or the other. The ending is the conceit… what are you trying to say? How do you want to leave the audience?

A woman is hit on by the sentient narrators of her “learn to speak Russian” audiobook. She must ignore their advances… or else.

A genuinely intriguing premise that really made me curious about the larger world of this story. I wanted to know who are these characters in the audio book, how can they see what’s going on, and would they do if successful in their seduction? Two of the three characters were represented only by their voice, a tough thing to do in film (go watch Her to see this done masterfully).

Really suffered from a lack of characterisation in the female lead. Her ipod is TALKING TO HER! How would that make her feel? How would you honestly react to that?

I have to say I was really irritated by the soundtrack. Music has a huge role to play in creating the tone of the film, and the constant upbeat score made the film very one note.

A woman scorned by a douchebag ex learns the value of friendship and independence by hanging out with a mermaid.

Strong visual storytelling, as the majority of the story played out in montage/visual gags. However I felt distanced from the main character because of it, and didn’t know much about her by the end of the film. Far more engaging was the wizard/detective (?) character, what was HIS story? He was the most original part of the film but only briefly contributed to the actual narrative.

A little uneven in terms of tone, crossing from romantic melodrama (brilliantly executed in the opening shots) to domestically mundane to straight up absurd, likely due to the challenges involved in playing a real-world version of a fantasy story.

What are the stakes in this world you’re creating? What is there for your hero to lose, if anything? It was a very funny film, but could have been more so if we knew these characters and cared about them.