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Review: Entanglement

Ben Layten (Thomas Middleditch), the central character of Entanglement, is not an easy person to like. Following two failed suicide attempts after a failed marriage, he begins to search for anything that gives him meaning in life. When he learns he once had an adopted sister, he sets his sights on meeting her.

Ben's idea here is that perhaps like some Sliding Doors type scenario, that his life would be drastically better had he had this sister. His parents had to give her up when they got pregnant with him. Entanglement spends most of its time on Ben's journey with Hanna (Jess Weixler), a woman he quickly assumes is the adopted sister he never had. 

Director Jason James has a problem with tone management here. He can never make the dark humor of the story really work. Nor can he make the more cerebral and emotional parts resonate. The film relies on a twist that most savvy audiences will see coming. The twist is not clever nor does it pack the emotional impact is sets out to make.

My patience with Ben as a character also quickly was lost as he is a shallow narcissist and the film constantly surrounds him with women who cater to his self-involved tendencies. His close friend Tabby (Diana Bang) gets the worst treatment. She is a character who constantly serves Ben and he never gives her any reason to stick around. All of this combines to make Ben into an unsympathetic character.

Entanglement seeks to explore the interconnectedness of us all and yet by construct makes everything that happens limited to Ben's own perception. The end of the film should hit upon Ben clueing into his own greater purpose and perhaps becoming a less selfish person. Strangely the film instead chooses to provide Ben with an easy solution to give him a happy ending he doesn't deserve. By the end of the film, neither Ben nor the audience is any better.



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