6 user 4 critic

Chronesthesia (2016)

When emotionally isolated barista Dan Duncombe starts receiving strange messages on the inside of his bedroom window, he is forced to become involved with the lives of the people around him... See full summary »


Hayden J. Weal


Hayden J. Weal
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Nick Blake Nick Blake ... Richard
Bonnie Bryant Bonnie Bryant ... Cute Cafe Mum
Colleen Cleary Colleen Cleary ... Eve
Abby Damen Abby Damen ... Imogen
Julian Dennison ... Beni
Simeon Duncombe Simeon Duncombe ... Fisherman
Cohen Holloway ... Zach
Ralph Johnson ... Vagabond
Acushla-Tara Kupe Acushla-Tara Kupe ... Elena (as Acushla Tara Sutton)
Michelle Ny ... Sophia
Shane Rangi ... Mysterious Man
Miranda Rivers Miranda Rivers ... Nurse
Lyndee-Jane Rutherford Lyndee-Jane Rutherford ... Gardener
Paul Waggott Paul Waggott ... Cafe Owner
Nova Waretini-Hewison ... Summer


When emotionally isolated barista Dan Duncombe starts receiving strange messages on the inside of his bedroom window, he is forced to become involved with the lives of the people around him ... and by changing their lives, he changes his own.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dan's life is ordinary, but something's happening that's making it extraordinary. See more »


Did You Know?


Dan Duncombe: Yeah, I'm on a search kind of thing and I don't know which line to take. I think I'm looking for a girl.
Richard: Can I give you some advice?
Dan Duncombe: Yeah.
Richard: All Roads lead to the heart.
Dan Duncombe: [Impateint] K, Thanks
Richard: See this, look at that, this is just an ordinary delphinium, but, it's ovulery structure is absolutely remarkable. You see there? There's three separate styles that twist back into the heart of the flower. That's nature aberrating to save a life, hence, all roads...
Dan Duncombe: [interrupting] lead to the heart. I got it.
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User Reviews

Interesting debut by a promising director - not quite there yet.
29 November 2019 | by freydis-eSee all my reviews

This film is all about New Zealander Hayden Weal. He wrote, produced, directed and takes the lead, on screen almost throughout, and this is his feature debut. It has likely been produced on a shoestring budget and it's one of the film's best points that this isn't ever apparent - all departments doing a thoroughly professional job.

I didn't find this film so very wonderful, though it's better than a lot of high-budget rubbish coming out of Hollywood. When I wrote this, there were only five reviews posted, all by people who loved it, and I thought it worthwhile enough to add a bit of perspective. The best things: Weal seems to be good at everything. He's a convincing actor, with the rest of the cast all doing a good job too. His direction has a couple of glitches where things get unnecessarily confusing, but never for long and most of the time the pacing is fine and he keeps control of a complex plot. He also writes some great dialogue.

I wasn't so happy about the plot itself, and the main character, who dominates the film, is very irritating at times. He goes through the early scenes mostly just not replying when people speak to him - the kind of guy who, despite his good looks, would end up alone, watching TV or playing computer games. In this case he's very fortunate that several well-meaning people make determined efforts to get through to him. Once he sets his sights on Sophia, things do improve, with a likeable caring personality starting to emerge. He's somewhat inconsistent though, reacting differently for plot purposes in identical situations - as when one time he chases the mysterious stranger, who runs away from him, while another time, the two simply look at each other, then walk away with no word spoken.

As for the plot, it makes a kind of sense and mostly works in that its oddness keeps the film feeling fresh and interesting through most of the journey - often a feature of Australian or New Zealand cinema. However everything is based on a long series of coincidences, which go beyond unlikely to silly to ridiculous and sometimes give the impression that these half-dozen intertwined characters inhabit a cut-off village where they make up around half the population and that's why they keep meeting up around every corner turned. For this reason the film needs to be viewed as a fantasy or morality play, rather than anything anywhere close to real.

Right at the end everything sadly falls apart, all quirkiness abandoned for more piled-on clichéd coincidence as the director rushes to tie up every possible loose end. I personally don't like over-neat endings - though many others do. In this case it's just another reminder that the real world was never invited anywhere near this party.

I felt I should have got some message here, following the morality play interpretation, and perhaps there is something there for more perceptive viewers. The very obvious one, 'actions have consequences', which gets spread on very thickly, seems belied by that cliché ending, which suggests that things would end up that way more or less regardless of what anyone does or says. Two things I did take from this film though: Summer is definitely a cool person: and Beni really, really cannot play!

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Official Sites:

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New Zealand



Release Date:

16 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love and Time Travel See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Turn Right Limited See more »
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