Wander Darkly, directed by Tara Miele, is a creative and original look at the mystery romance genre. Without a doubt ambitious, it carries itself with surprising clarity and direction for such an outgoing film. This film definitely has the potential to change the mystery romance genre with it´s groundbreaking use of time-play and unreliable narration, something I found rather Jacob´s Ladder-esque.
This film is definitely one I could see being a silent influencer for other similar films in the future, as well as an underground cult classic. In this film, we follow Matteo and Adrienne, a quarrelling couple with a newborn baby, as they challenge the accuracy of their memories, the ups and downs of their relationship, and their life together so far, after a traumatic car accident.
This film tackles issues like these in a fanciful and thought intriguing way that allows the movie to work as a mirror, as the characters go through their own unreliable memories and life experiences so does the audience. In this way, this film is beyond groundbreaking in not only the mystery romance genre but a refreshing pioneer in the immersion of the audience in film in general.
One way this film disorients the audience is the storytelling tool of the characters reliving their memories in a scattered order, rather than a linear sequence of events. This also allows for a back and forth event placement where the character will go from present time to the past sometimes subtly. The heart of this film is definitely the acting.
With breathtaking performances from all of the actors and actresses involved. Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna) especially had some of the best performances of the movie. I feel both of them came prepared for the emotional substance and weight of the film and were able to portray that in a surprisingly good manner, taking into account previous roles.
The cinematography is also an element in this film done particularly well. With beautiful drone and nighttime shots this film is competent to say the least in regards to the beautiful camera work it has to offer. Slow motion and fast camera pans add to the movement of the film and allow the audience to feel each scene´s contrasting and unique mood it wishes to set for the viewer.
The only real downside to this film is at times, it´s predictability. However, for every predictable moment in this film there is one that takes you off guard and completely changes how you see the film. This film is one of the most emotional ones I have seen recently and honestly a pretty unforgettable watch. The emotion in this film is incredible as well as the storytelling which allowed this film to come together and become one I can definitely see getting the attention it deserves in the future.
I one hundred percent recommend this film for anyone who wishes to experience an emotional journey which is breathtaking and unique. This film is one that sadly I feel fell behind in the whirlwind of twenty twenty but I also feel has great potential to make a comeback and a favorite among the mystery romance genre. I would say give this film a watch, it is definitely worth it.
Lionsgate released WANDER DARKLY on DVD & Blu-Ray February 9, 2021. Click here to see the trailer.