- 1h 29m
On the rainy night of October 2, 1968, eight characters waiting on a remote bus station for a bus heading to Mexico City start experiencing a strange phenomenon.On the rainy night of October 2, 1968, eight characters waiting on a remote bus station for a bus heading to Mexico City start experiencing a strange phenomenon.On the rainy night of October 2, 1968, eight characters waiting on a remote bus station for a bus heading to Mexico City start experiencing a strange phenomenon.
I bring this up only because it serves as background for Isaac Ezban's fascinating and imaginative second Science Fiction film- "The Similars".
Setup- 8 people find themselves stranded at a bus station during a devastating rainstorm only five hours outside of Mexico City. But this is no ordinary storm, nor are the news reports that come in. This rain contains a lot more than just water.
The cast of characters are comprised of an old man on the verge of retirement, a pregnant woman on the run, a medical student, a mother and her handicapped son, and a few significant others. As with his brilliant debut film- "El Incidente", the characters seem inconsequential to the story. They are used merely to examine the human condition when put in a position of extreme circumstance.
As the story unfolds, we witness a strange phenomenon. Each character, by way of a bizarre seizure, wake up no memory and the same face. As expected tensions arise, characters become desperate for answers, paranoia takes over, and violence- including a few deaths. The student fears the government is involved. Others believe it's the Devil. An old native Aztec woman has an opinion too, but nobody can understand a word she says. This is only the premise. No Spoilers.
Could one of these characters hold the secret? Is there some sort of cosmic game taking place? Can fantasy become an uncontrollable reality? One character actually does, my only fault with the film. It wasn't needed- the setup was fascinating enough. There is dark humor throughout this film, which Ezban delivers- tongue in cheek. I won't spoil the surprises. This is a fun, imaginative journey into Science Fiction. While his feature film "El Incidente" was explained within the context of abstract spiritual realism, this story has it's dots well connected and unfolds with perfect timing.
The film's main metaphor is - what does man become when stripped of his identity? That was in question that tragic day in Tlatelolco in 1968. Somehow, the military forgot that individuality can not be compromised, and there are dangers when our identity is suppressed in favor of forced conformity- in other words- when people are forced to "All Become The Same" (tagline). The fact that Ezban used a Sociological equivalency to his Sy/Fy story shows that this Director may become a true future visionary in the world of modern day Cinema.
The direction of Ezban, along with the cinematography of Isi Sarfati, leave the film with a real 60s look and feel. Yes, this is very much Ezban's tribute to Rod Serling's - The Twilight Zone - with a unique twist by Ezban that Serling would have loved. Like great Writers and Directors, Ezban's story is fun, fascinating, and totally original- and just when you think you have the film figured out, he throws us the proverbial curve ball and dares us to hit it. Don't be misled by the trailer. Violence is kept to a minimum. On imagination alone, I give this a rating of 8/10.
- Oct 31, 2015