By Romy Somerset.
Entanglement begins with a bleakly comic montage of Ben, our protagonist’s failed suicide attempts. His most recent effort was interrupted by a knock at the door, which saved his life. Now he has the chance to figure out where it all went wrong, and hope that salvation is possible. One way in which Ben (Thomas Middleditch) attempts to understand how he reached his current situation is by making some kind of chart on his apartment wall, a display that bewilders his caring, maternal neighbour Tabby as much as it does us.
Whilst this might seem like the obvious set up to a movie about a suicidal man who finally finds happiness, this story actually veers off on quite a different tangent. Precipitated by Ben’s father making a bizarre non-deathbed confession involving he and Ben’s mother almost adopting a baby girl. They in fact had to give her up the day she arrived, due to the surprise that they were, in fact, pregnant with their own. For some peculiar reason, Ben believes that this not-quite sister holds the solution to every unanswered question, that had she been around he would have been happier, his love life not so disastrous and his childhood not so lonely. Yes, there are a lot of holes in this premise, but I suppose it’s best just to go with it.
The film is injected with a much-needed dose of charm and personality when we meet this would-be sister, Hanna (Jess Weixler). The pair attempts to catch up on the years they’ve lost by doing, in their words, “brother-sister stuff”. As you can probably imagine, their relationship quickly goes beyond sibling territory, after all this is a romantic comedy… sort of.
It would be a shame to reveal the twist to readers who wanted to be left in the dark, so read no further if you wish to maintain the mystery.
Our suspicions about Hanna are aroused at several points in this film, like the poorly animated deer that both Hanna and Ben can see but are clearly not real, and the way in which she ultimately seems too good to be true. She is always at the right place at the right time, with no real explanation of how she came to be there.
Once the twist was revealed, I was able to appreciate the film for what it was. A second viewing is far more enjoyable than the first, because what bewildered us, and maybe even mildly irritated us the first time around, reveal themselves as the whimsical breadcrumbs that were being fed to us along the way.
I recommend this movie once, if not only to watch it again and see what you failed to pick up. That is the most enjoyable part, and whilst it’s not your everyday romantic comedy and can be a little confusing, it is probably worth a watch, and certainly worth two.
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