Quantum mechanics and the multiverse collide with self-loathing and the regret of a one night stand in the new sci-fi comedy, Backwards Faces.
Backwards Faces is a story about Sydney, a theoretical physicist who has a one night stand with a man named Ken. We catch up with the duo the morning after, when Ken claims to be from a different universe. He states that he arrived via the bathroom in the apartment they were in. In fact, the bathroom is a blackhole portal that can take you to any number of infinite worlds. Each world is a different version of their current reality. At first, Sydney thinks this is just Ken’s way of trying to keep her there after their awkward evening. Soon she is presented with evidence that she cannot deny and comes to the realization that theoretical physics may not be as theoretical as we are led to believe.
Backwards Faces is a heady sci-fi comedy that takes the idea of actions and consequences in a refreshingly original direction. Director and writer Chris Aresco uses the concept of the many-worlds as a representation of how people internalize behaviors when they make a decision they regret. That question is, “What if I had done something differently?”. The answer to that question for Sydney and Ken manifests in physical form, and they don’t always like what they see. Each character states their case on the nature of man, the option of actions without consequences, and of perception of oneself. These arguments are presented through well crafted dialog and sharp delivery by the performers. You can tell Aresco spent a lot of time working out the details so that the information presented felt true to theoretical physics while being entertaining at the same time. There are some high concepts explored, but I never felt lost in what was being said.
The performances by the two leads are nothing short of amazing, especially for an independent project like this one. The dialog is delivered at Tarintino-esque speed that feels believable. Lennon Sickles does a wonderful job portraying Sydney and makes you feel her confusion, curiosity, regret and fascination with the thought of the many-worlds concept being a reality. Not only does she make you believe what she is saying but through her facial expressions and movements, you can see that she is figuring things out. Ken is played by Andrew Morra and makes a great counterpoint to Sydney. Ken has had more experience with the things Sydney has only read about and is able to hold his own with her. I love the verbal sparring that occurs throughout the film. Both performers also get to play various versions of themselves and make those versions believable. Plus, they just look like they are having fun.
If you do not like dialog heavy, character driven films then Backwards Faces may not be for you. It takes place all in one apartment and there are only the two characters on which the story completely relies. If you enjoy a script that will have you thinking deeply while laughing out loud at the same time, I highly recommend it. 5 out of 5 stubs.
Backward Faces is out now on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, Vudu, iNDemand, Vubiquity, DirecTV and more!
I have been reviewing films since high school. I love discussing films with those who share my passion for them. I also do video reviews on YouTube and on my podcast.