Blu-ray Review: Minor Premise | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, May 23rd, 2024  

Minor Premise

Studio: Utopia

Apr 30, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

​Brilliant neuroscientist Ethan Kochar (Sathya Sridharan) experiments with a new version of his late father’s invention: a machine that maps the brain and records memories like a VCR. His latest update adds a function that would theoretically isolate sections of a subject’s consciousness, allowing them to suppress unwanted impulses and elevate their desired qualities. One night, drunk and pressured by his father’s ex-partner (Twin Peaks’ Dana Ashbrook), he turns the machine on himself – accidentally snapping his brain into ten competing psyches that operate in six-minute intervals. It’s up to the two highest-functioning personalities to work alongside his own scientific rival (Paton Ashbrook) not only to fix the mistake, but right the wrongs done by the psychopathic section of his identity as it runs loose for six minutes every hour.

Minor Premise (2020) might remind viewers of turn-of-the-century brain benders like Pi and Primer. Eric Schultz’s sci-fi thriller does an excellent job of explaining away the technology in a way that the audience will buy it, without bogging them down in details. As Ethan and Alli race to repair their machine and plug various equations into a computer, they don’t make you question why or how it works – which is often the biggest part of the battle in one of these sort of films. Instead, viewers are left to puzzle over which of Ethan’s personalities is responsible for which actions – and who they can trust. The results are exciting and, visually, quite clever. (If there’s one complaint, it can be difficult to differentiate between Ethan’s two ostensibly “good” personalities, which becomes a problem when their goals are different.)

Utopia is a new label associated with Vinegar Syndrome, and the Blu-ray case comes inside one of those slick, high-quality slipcovers you’d expect from their limited runs. Included with the film are plenty of bonus materials from the filmmaker, including a feature-length commentary, behind-the-scenes snippets, and a short film. A tight, claustrophobic thriller set in mostly one location, this is one of the best new entries in sci-fi cinema we’ve seen over the last year.



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