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Schrödinger's Girl

Film Three Stars
I took a real chance watching Schrödinger's Girl and it surprised me. From the opening scenes you could tell that the budget was really low, the effects were basic and the acting on occassion a little raw. It took me a lot not to dismiss it immediately, and that would have been a mistake. Not only is a Festival supposed to bring film to you, and you to films, that you wouldn't normally see, but it should also make available films from film-makers with aspiring talent, film-makers that may not normally get seen.

So I stuck with the film and was pleasantly surprised. Yes the film doesn't have a big or even low budget, but what it makes up for is intelligence and scope, and it manages to deliver a rather effective story. It does feel like it could be an episode of Primevil.

Plot.pngSchrodingersGirl.jpgThe story follows that of a woman and her assistant who are working on a ground breaking experiment involving a process called quantum tunnelling, something which they hope will create a bridge between this universe and another parallel one. Meanwhile, on another two parallel universes, the same woman and the same assistant are working on the same experiment but in slightly different worlds. When the experiment finally begins no one could predict the effects on all the worlds and what they will all encounter.

TheFilm.pngSee what I mean about the scope of the film? It's huge, and to imagine that a film of this scale and budget could attempt such a plot would be insane, and yet it does and considering its size it manages to do it.

Of course saying that you do have to have your mind firmly in the mood for this kind of film, much like television shows of Doctor Who, Torchwood and Primevil. If you do that and accept that you're not watching a blockbuster or a film with a decent budget, then you'll get something out of it, and that's not putting down the film at all, it does a great job, the audience just needs to know what to expect and stay with it.

As I said the effects aren't great, they are very basic, but that fits them nicely into the BBC science fiction effects realm and makes them much more acceptable. What's interesting is that if the effects were a little better then this would have slid into the bad category.

The performances are okay, there's a little bit of overacting at times from the lead actress, Abigail Tarttelin, interestingly she seems far more comfortable in her role in the technologically superior parallel world, and least comfortable in the Communist ruled one. With a few falters and rough moments early on she does start to ease into the role as the film moves on.

There are also a few weaker moments from the two future police characters, but all in all the performances stand up well in the film, and the friend/husband played by XX gives the better performance throughout.

It's the great story and the huge scope that really does come through from the film, and amongst all that there's still time for some character development and some humour too. I had a couple of sniggers at various points where there was plenty of healthy sarcasm to be had.

In a science fiction film that has such a complex back story and premise, then there are the expected science conversations. What Schrödinger's Girl does well here is that it doesn't shy away from any of these complexities and in fact embraces them, and so when the conversations and explanations of the science appear they are really well handled, believable and sound extremely convincing, much more so than many Hollywood films do.

Another aspect of the story that is a winner is the fact that it has multiple plot threads running together, criss crossing, and joining, and that would be quite a handful on paper in script format never mind in the actual film, but it works perfectly well in the film too as they are never overly mishandled. Sure there are some stumbling points for the plot and the various threads, but overall it's brought together well on screen, and that's where the film definitely plays out of its league.

Overall.pngYou know you could be tempted to go on about quality of effects and a few moments of the performances, but you have to realise what class this film is fighting in and realise that it's managing to elevate itself above that class with the plot and how the multiple threads are handled.

The story is very clever and plays out well, it does make you wonder that with a bigger budget and more access to better effects, this could have been something much better.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the people behind this film aren't being eyed to deliver something just like that and move onto bigger and better things already.

Schrödinger's Girl is an example of great low budget film making and what can be achieved, and it also shows that a clever script and a huge scope can still come through in a smaller film. Well done them.

Filmstalker at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009
UK IMDB Film Details



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