My standards are higher than most. When it comes to sci-fi I want complete believability, or else it’s just fantasy (yawn).
The good news is that Vanishing Waves has a decent level of plausibility, and it’s maintained throughout. It’s not a perfect film however. I found several things wanting, but first I must digress.
I wrote a script about a coma patient interacting with the outside, back in the mid 90s. Doing so I had to confront the limitations of the film medium, and that the newly evolving CGI could simulate dream consciousness by making the surfaces and objects amorphous, shifting and unstable.
Vanishing Waves begins its journey with this consideration in mind. In the world of dreams nothing is like a filmed location. Nothing is solid. Nothing remains for a stretch of time, because it doesn’t exist. These are only representations of ideas, the cursory details of an experience. As I said, the film began with that aesthetic, but then became more conventional, and that ticked my boxes.
The film Dreamscape went a bit farther back in 1984, with some hypnogogic vistas that not only fit into the plot but also sold the dream experience completely.
This type of surrealism should have carried Vanishing Waves through to the end, but instead it became more of a film noir. Not the same thing at all.
The other problem I had with the film is the ending. Not that it’s implausible. That’s not the problem. It’s that the characters weren’t fleshed out sufficiently to arrive there.
Maybe you’ll see it differently. Like a dream it’s all subjective anyway…
Gilding the Allegory (Free)