The seemingly perfect love between Angus, a painter, and Laura, a musician, is not quite what it seems. One day, Laura suddenly leaves Angus, and a dark secret about her is revealed. Angus' desperation grows into a search to reveal the truth, and finds himself slipping away to a different realm where he meets figures that he hopes can help him solve his love mystery...
There's a strong force in large parts of the current indie world that focuses on complex and deep subjects rather than camp, comedy, etc. Many recent titles come to mind, but without mentioning titles, we're talking titles that go beyond everything you usually see in an independent movie, yet it remains very much so. You can tell every stage of the production was important, especially the writing. Like many of these titles,"A Dark Matter" follows an idea of exploring deeper in things we believe we are already familiar with. "A Dark Matter" takes upon the arts, relationships and connecting with people, and even something that we don't give a minute to think about otherwise - our beloved eyes.
Angus and Laura's relationship seems to be great - there's love and they create great art in the presence of each other (Angus is a painter, Laura is a musician). But Laura is hiding something dark and leaves Angus pretty much out of nowhere, from his perspective. Their path was at times rocky, Angus was starting to have problems with how to paint her eyes, but it was no worse than any other relationship. When he's left alone, he becomes desperate to get her, but the dark secret she is carrying is about to be revealed. The movie has played us with some mystery, but has up until now kept it very disguised. It's slowly going to the surface when Angus falls into another realm.
A movie of many mysteries, my main focus was always the relationship, but the movie dives into a great variety of ideas. Undeniably dealing with sci-fi, we're introduced to people who are harvesting eyes, but you could argue that there are times it is reminiscent of film-noir too. I do feel it might push a bit much into it, but unlike most movies it keeps it vague enough for the viewer to actually decide what to get invested in. Clearly, if you get into all the plot devices, you'll be rewarded more greatly. For me, I was just instantly hooked to the love/connection story, that certain parts were distracting, even though they're all part of the puzzle. I can't say after one watch, but would it be possible to make ends meet had it kept it simpler? I'll leave that question floating in a void until I revisit it.
Daniel Briere and Shauna Bradley are about as perfect as you'll get as "the couple" in this indie feature. Daniel Briere nails the artist role without being a pretentious douchehole, and his personality makes it easy for us to get invested. Shauna Bradley starts off as extremely lovable, but she's successfully luring and seeing her develop is interesting. Most people do come off as great actors in this piece, but the leads are the strength.
I can't deny that parts of "A Dark Matter" went over my head. It's a movie to rewatch if you want the stars to align, but still a strong effort on the first watch. It leaves a lot of thinking to the viewer, but it's not overly vague. I could've seen a more simple plot work as well, one that focused solely on "Angus-the-artist-post-break-up", but it wouldn't be the same flick then, would it? "A Dark Matter" is an appropriate title for this thinker of an indie film, which luckily keeps a steady pace through-out.