FILM INFO: Scott and Mal are a potent husband/wife scientific team on the verge of creating the most powerful technology the world has ever seen. But the impending breakthrough is very bittersweet as Mal begins to succumb to a destructive brain dementia.
WRITTEN BY: Mark Balunis DIRECTED BY: Mark Balunis GENRE: Sci-Fi, Drama TIME: 22 minutes.
Since long before television and probably since the start of the thinking man, teleportation has been a dream just waiting to be realized. The possibilities such a feat would open up is mind boggling. As is the potential for misuse. Still, even in this modern day of science, such a discovery would literally change everything. Never mind the thought of organic transportation, even the ability to physically transport inorganic objects would be a game changer. With this kind of potential power, the ability to do this has worked it's way into the imagination of almost everyone at one point or another. So, it's only natural this ideal would transport itself onto the fiction or science fiction minded people of the world. Pun intended. Of course, it has; this plot element is not a new one. Enter the short film "Palindrome" from writer, director Mark Balunis. Here, we have a husband and wife who are on the verge of perfecting a viable and usable machine, that does just what we've been talking about. It teleports things. The twenty or so minutes follows the last leg of their journey and finishes... well, in an odd kind of way doomsday way that makes you wonder if there's more to come. It's safe to say that the plot revolves more around the relationship between the two lead characters; the stress such a discovery can cause, and the underlying fear, mixed with the sheer awesomeness such a thing creates. Can you imagine how you'd feel? The stress one would feel to perfect said device, and have your name go down in history? Add to that, the stress to be left knowing the potential harm and destruction such a device could do. With your name on it! Not all of what I've written is directly addresses in this film, but you, as the viewer can almost feel the thoughts of the characters as such things enter their minds. So, I'm going to say that "Palindrome" focuses more on the human emotions than it does the fantastic elements. I'm also going to write that although this is a great thing, it also helps hurt the production a little. More on that below. Still, after all this time I'm not a huge fan of the shaking, moving camera. I almost feel like writing a book on the subject. This is not 1999 and the gimmick just doesn't work anymore. Not when it's so easy to set up a tripod and lock it off. Although "Palindrome" is not a film of hand-held camera work, enough shake in some scenes exists to warrant a mention. Adding motion to shots can work during action segments, but dialog driven scenes benefit from a steady shot. Every time. Other than that, I thought "Palindrome" was a little long running. Certain scenes, such as the dinner conversation or even to a point, the driving segment at the start, could have been trimmed down. For this particular film, cutting five or so minutes would have greatly impacted the movie. Hit em' fast and hard. That would have been ideal. So what about the acting? As a full package I only have good things to say. Well written dialog performed by some talented people really help bring this production home. This could be the reason "Palindrome" feels a little long. When you have some great scenes acted out by some talented people, it becomes really hard to decide what to cut. My thoughts anyhow. Mark Balunis has put up a good, solid title. Hard core science fiction fans may decide it's a little more down to Earth than they'd like, but the same can be said, only opposite, about drama lovers. Mixing two genres can be a tricky line to walk but "Palindrome" manages to squeak by. We end up having a solid piece of work that has no problem getting the imagination flowing, especially after the final scene. A nice piece of indie work. -JT