Starring Katherine Langford, Charlie Plummer,
Directed by Brian Duffield
Rating: ** ½
Life can get awfully messy. Just imagine, you are in a highschool attending a class when all of a sudden one of your classmates explodes….Yes! Simply explodes into a mass of bloodred particles that splatter on your schoolbag and render your fear of the unknown more pronounced than ever before. Then follows a series of such explosions in one school only. Maybe this school didn’t pay its electricity bills.
It’s all very ominous and a disturbing but also a bit farcical.And that’s the way director Brian Duffieldintended it. I saw Spontaneous as trying to be a biting satirical exposition of the current Covid crisis. But then I got to know the film was completed before the pandemic. And released 8 months into the ‘explosive’ situation in the plot.
It all seems strangely apt and yet hideously improper, as our protagonists Mara(Katherine Landford) and Dylan(Charlie Plummer, whom I always wrongly presumed to be the veteran Christopher Plummer’s grandson after they played grandpa-grandson in All The Money In The World) try to live their love stories as friends in the school explode in the air.What more ‘poof’ do we need of life’s vagaries?
The sanitization, the quarantine, the anti-virus suits…nothing works. Anyone can blow up anytime.This idea of a vicious vagary governing lives of a bunch of carefree youngsters is interesting, if not exactly a source of great entertainment. Luckily for him, and us, director Brian Duffield keeps the proceedings light most of time. Towards the end when things begin to get really hopeless the film plunders the depth of the young heroine’s despondency to bring us some reason to be hopeful about life.
The leading lady is one such pain killer. I must admit Katherine Langford is quite a find. She has an instinctive ability to make the most incredible scene look convincing. Charlie Plummer’s puppy-act in Ms Langford’s presence is touching, though her proclivity to take the people close to her for granted began to get to me. That includes her best friend Tess(Hayley Law) . Once the pandemic(for the want of a better description of the disastrous scenario) starts Mara and Tess’ friendship comes under a lot of stress.
I found the plot eventually carrying more than caring. Too much was happening and too little time to settle down into a groove in this restless script.There is a sequence at a graveyard featuring Mara and Mara’s future mother-in-law where they discuss loss. So much to lose when the next moment is shrouded in uncertainty. Spontaneous revels in that uncertainty. For better and for worse.