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‘Entanglement’ Review: A Surreal and Sweet Indie Comedy

Following a tough break up, Ben (Thomas Middleditch) decides to commit suicide. He makes several unsuccessful attempts to kill himself, ultimately being saved by luck. Once back on his feet he is told that his parents tried to adopt a baby girl just before Ben was conceived. Had they been successful, Ben is convinced that having a little sister would have changed his entire life, saving him from the bleak situation in which he finds himself. The almost-sister’s name is Hannah (Jess Weixler) and once he tracks her down, he discovers that she is far from what he expected.

Entanglement is a quirky romantic comedy that aims to tackle serious subjects in an off beat way, very much in the mould of Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbatch. There are also some surreal elements à la Michel Gondry, such as fantastical animals made of felt. Interestingly these elements are explained away as aspects of Ben’s delusional state, which is the primary concern of the film.

Thomas Middleditch delivers a very earnest performance as Ben. He offers a neurotic energy that is for the most part charming. His anxieties are relatable and affecting. Jess Weixler plays Hannah as a fairly conventional quirky indie character who is larger than life, disregards the rules, and has a unique perspective that mostly revolves around attitude. It’s a familiar role but played with great energy from Weixler.

As the title suggests there is an interest in particle physics in the film and particularly quantum entanglement and how this relates to alternate universes and personal regrets. These are interesting questions posed by the film, but the conclusions are fairly conventional.

There are, of course, some contrivances and some of the dialogue doesn’t feel terribly natural. There is also a twist near the end, the reveal of which is given great pomp and circumstance, but which was fairly obvious by the midpoint of the film.

Entanglement is an interesting and quirky romantic comedy which injects some surprising elements into the standard indie ‘search for meaning’ narrative.

3.5 Stars

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