Life. Death. Relationships. Friendships. Love and yes, even hate. In one form or another, these are the building blocks of almost any story ever told. Steve Johnson's "Convergence" is no different. Maybe that's not quite right - rather should I write that "Convergence" is not quite any different. You see reader, the basic plot contains all the above mentioned traits - in one form or another. Us viewers get the entire package and to my surprise, the main story is not a massive mud-hole of a mess.
Even though "Convergence" sports a combination, and large amount of categories - it's all surprisingly easy to follow and digest. A standard dramatic thriller of sorts. Yet there is also a different angle Steve Johnson adds to the mix. A man I call Mr. Fate, but is listed as The Strategist on the iMDB page. The not so simple addition of this character, puts an entire new spin on the movie. It's not so cut and dried any more - and considerably changes the dynamics of the film. Not so much the actual story, more like the background story and depth of Johnson's world. Or perhaps it's the other way around? With "Convergence" it's hard to tell.
Nutshell? Martin is an author suffering from a writers block of sorts, since the tragic death of his wife and child. Struggling to let go and accept the tragedy, Martin is looking for answers and closure. It's only this way, that he can move on and live his life. While attending a bereavement group, he meets Lily. A woman on the run from an abusive boyfriend. As the trio play a game of cat and mouse, Martin continues to look for answers regarding the death of his wife - and Lily and her trailing boyfriend hold a piece of the puzzle. Is it a coincidence? How do people Martin have never met - fit in to this mystery? Maybe The Strategist knows...
... bringing us to the bonus plot, or main plot depending on how you look at it, of the film. Throughout "Convergence" us viewers are treated to another character. One who our leading characters are oblivious to. Using chess as the vehicle, The Strategist moves along the game pieces, to coincide with the onscreen happenings of the characters. Mimicking their onscreen actions. Is this man psychic? Is he God or the devil? Or is he quite literally fate? We never actually get any answers... only more questions. I mean that in a good way. It's also worth noting that The Strategist seems to feel our characters pain. Figuratively and literally. You get a feeling that he actually cares as he manipulates the chess pieces. Or is he not manipulating them at all? Simply following along with what's happening. Like we do when watching a movie. No matter how you read into it, the inclusion of this character really ups the game for this film. Adding a layer that makes all the difference.
As a lower budgeted indie film, "Convergence" sure doesn't look the part. A nicely shot and put together production is always welcome. Once you add in some excellent writing and stellar acting however, you're in a completely different ball game. My point is that "Convergence" doesn't look or feel indie at all. That tried and true perception of knowing an indie film when you see one is rendered obsolete. Something I'm always glad to write.
Going back to the acting, "Convergence" holds a lot of players. Our leads are played splendidly... of course. Not an awkward delivery in the house - that I can remember. However, what sets "Convergence" apart is when considering all the supporting cast. They all played their parts marvelously as well! More to the point? Sometimes you can write that the leading cast upstaged everyone else. Sometimes you can write the opposite. Here however, there doesn't seem to be any upstaging going on at all. Everyone just seems to fit into place - the way they should. When writing about the troupe of this film, it's not about the individual performances. It's the fact nobody seems to be performing at all.
With all that said, "Convergence" was the smallest bit long winded. With this film, a lot of symbolism is used. Imagery that pushes the story along as much as the scenes themselves. It all works. It all does the trick - but some of these shots just feel unneeded. Adding to the length. As I wrote, this was only a fleeting thought... but it came to mind none the less.
When it was all over and the credits began rolling down the screen, I was left thinking how much I enjoyed the film. At the end of the day that's all that really matters. "Convergence" is the real deal. A dramatic thriller with a little something extra to set it apart. Would I recommend? Yes. In a heartbeat. I feel privileged to have gotten a sneak peek and humbly put forth my personal rating. A solid four stars.
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