Entanglement follows a sad sack character with mental issues and his attempts to deal (or not) with the circumstances in which he finds himself.
Benjamin Layton (Thomas Middleditch) is such a sad sack that, when we meet him, he’s in the midst of a series of darkly hilarious failed suicide attempts – the last of which would have succeeded if he hadn’t decided to answer the door for a delivery.
Using the concept of multiple universes being caused by branching out whenever a decision is made, Ben plots out his life – in thread – on his living room wall. To no avail.
A visit to his shrink (Joannah Newmarch) yields a prescription but little else. Then, on a trip to his pharmacy to pick up some meds, he sees a young woman steal a pair of sunglasses and take off.
Then he discovers that his parents – Norm (Eric Keenleyside) and Betty (Marilyn Norry) – had adopted a baby girl but had had to return her to the adoption agency when they discovered his mother was pregnant.
Convinced that almost having a sister is the missing piece to his life, he and his best friend and neighbor, Tabby (Diana Bang), set out to find her. A $50 bribe later and they have a copy of her file.
When Ben approaches the house at the address he has found, he’s intercepted by the same young woman he saw in the pharmacy (Jess Weixler). Thus begins a truly unique relationship…
Entanglement uses the tropes of a romantic dramedy to explore mental health issues; familial relationships and not seeing what’s right in front on one’s face.
As Jess and Hannah’s relationship evolves, bizarre things begin to happen – emphasized onscreen by clever little animation effects (jellyfish, fireworks, and so forth).
Despite his seeming happiness with the increasingly adventurous Hannah, Tabby seems disturbed by the relationship and warns him to be careful.
As Entanglement progresses, we learn why Ben wanted to commit suicide, and how he and Hannah seem to be entangled like particles bonded through quantum entanglement (a highly improbable series of coin tosses seem to verify this).
The combination of an offbeat, slightly whimsical script (by Jason Filiatrault); a light touch by director Jason James, and carefully modulated performances by Middleditch, Weixler and Bang all add up to a genuinely special film.
Adding to the unusual feel of the film is a soundtrack that’s imported from a different decade but feels completely appropriate.
Entanglement is a small indie film that will probably be hard to find but will be well worth the effort.
Final Grade: A