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Monday, June 08, 2009

The Nines

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa McCarthy, Hope Davis
Directed by: John August
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 8/10

In search of the illusive beast, the Credible Science Fiction Film, one rarely ventures into outer space or does battle with intergalactic beings. Case in point? The Nines.
Now, although it is not concerned with space and extra-terrestrial life, it is within the science fiction genre- a film not based on real life, but rooted in the 'What Ifs?' of science- what if we could inhabit other planets? What if we created artificial life? Or, in this case, what if celestial beings- with the power to create and destroy worlds and galaxies- walked among us?
The three protagonists in this film- Gary/Gavin/Gabriel (Ryan Reynolds), Margaret/Melissa/Mary (Melissa McCarthy) and Sarah/Susan/Sierra (Hope Davis) live three lives within the film, in a series of interwoven 'parallel universes', and all have a connection to these celestial beings, 'The Nines'.
This novel yet complex plot idea is in itself a problem- August must somehow carve 3 distinct worlds within the film (no mean feat when they all involve the same house), in 3 half-hour parts, and somehow also cram in who or what 'The Nines' are. The film has been criticised for not tying-up-loose ends; instead, the viewer must 'read the pieces like tea leaves'. Yet, is this such a bad thing? This means you must invest some brain power in the film, and it'll certainly leave you thinking. And, if you think it through, you'll be hard pushed to find a loose end that goes unaddressed by the end of the film.
What may also get you thinking is the wider implications of the film. Reynolds' characters (brilliantly acted, by the way) are an actor, a writer and a games designer- in a way, aren't they all Gods? Actors are certainly often treated like deities; writers sculpt their own worlds, deciding fates with the flick of a pen across the page; games designers create worlds that other can immerse themselves in. In a way, then, although actual transient beings may not walk among us, we can find 'Gods'- be they idols or creators- in the most unusual of places.

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