Trying to survive in a world where humanity has been almost destroyed by a strange disease, Chris is approached by a strange man who gives him the opportunity to save not only his dying wife, but also the rest of mankind, by going back to the days before the pandemic broke out. What seemed to be a chance for Chris to fix his mistakes in the past and get his redemption, later becomes a huge temptation to retake the life he had lost, putting his morality to test.
«Diverge» is a very good film with a lot of things to enjoy, the story gets you interested from the beginning, and even when the premise is very simple, it leaves you reflecting about its themes for some time after it ends. The film does not use big, expensive special effects (We can even say that there is none, besides some make up and characterization effects) to tell this science fiction story with some tones of drama about the eternal debate of cause and effect. Without having an unnecessary complicated plot, I believe fans of «12 Monkeys» and «Primer» will really enjoy this film.
The acting was very good, and the pacing had good rhythm, although I think that some scenes dragged a little bit, specially when we see Chris just meditating over his actions and sometimes it takes too much time for him to actually react to what is going on around him. Is not something that hurts the film that much, but it can annoy some people in the audience. I don’t want to dwell into spoiler territory, but I want to state that the acting by Jamie Jackson was definitely one of the strongest points of the movie.
The film looked beautiful thanks to Darin Quan’s photography direction, both when we see the world in the post apocalyptic days and the ordinary world where the fall of mankind is brewing. The musical score by Brooke Blair and Will Blair («The Green Room» and «Blue Ruin») was also something I liked a lot, specially the theme we can hear on the ending credits sequence.
Although we can argue that the story leaves some questions unanswered, specially those dealing with the possible consequences of some of the actions of the main characters, I think that the director James Morrison delivered a very solid script, that even when it has elements that we have seen on other recent works, they never feel tired or overused. This I think is due that the weight of the story is not only in the quest for redemption, but also in learning to let go those things you have lost (I would LOVE to go into details, but that will involve some spoilers and I want to you see this film) . The movie has a run time a little shorter that 90 minutes, and save for a couple of stumbles, is uses its time very effectively.
In conclusion: «Diverge» is a film that along with great works like Nacho Vigalondo’s «Time Crimes» and Shane Carruth’s «Primer» shows that you don’t need heavy, expensive special effects to do a good science fiction film if you know who to tell a great story, and is sure to leave you reflecting about what you saw after the ending credits starts to roll. Be sure to check it out, you won’t regret it.
«Diverge» was written and directed by James Morrison, the cast includes Ivan Sandomire, Jamie Jackson, Andrew Sensenig, Erin Cunningham and Chris Henry Coffey. The films is now available on VOD services.