written and directed by Mikel J. Wisler
2015, 11 mins, drama / sci-fi / romance
WINNER of Best Short Film at the 2016 Philadelphia Independent Film Awards.
Henry opened a window into another universe. But the last thing he ever thought he would find on the other side was love. Decades later, he finally tells his daughter the story that has haunted him all these years and shaped the course of his life.
“Parallel” is beautiful and poetic and unlike any short film I’ve ever seen. It’s both entertaining and emotionally satisfying.
- Philip Smolen's review in presenting "Parallel" with the 2015 PS Award (Rogue Cinema)
Movie Critic Reviews of "Parallel"
Parallel (Short) (2015): A+ -- by Brian Skutle (Sonic Cinema)
“Parallel” has a feature film’s worth of story it tells in 11 minutes. That may make it sound convoluted, but it’s a very clear-eyed story, with emotional journeys experienced that would normally take two hours, but here are followed, easily and un-rushed, in minutes. Writer-director Mikel J. Wisler frames the story as the recollections of an old scientist (Henry, played by Paul Kandarian as an old man, and Juan C. Rodríguez as a young man), who once broke down a barrier to parallel universes in the time after the Higgs-Boson breakthrough. The most meaningful part to Henry, though, is his meeting Anne (Kate Paulsen), a researcher on the other side he has an immediate connection with. Henry’s telling this story to his daughter, with the moral of the story being to never take anything for granted, and to never become bitter about opportunities lost, because something else will always be around the corner. Though the film is more a personal, intimate story about character interactions, Wisler doesn’t skimp on the sci-fi nature of the film, and visually, there are some very interesting ideas, though we’re not talking about “Gravity” or “2001” here. What I mean in pointing out the visuals is that Wisler fleshes out the film visually to where we are given a full glimpse of the world he has created, which isn’t always easy to do in short films. Ultimately, it’s the emotional side of “Parallel” that resonates the strongest, and it’s quite an experience on not just it’s main character, but the viewer, as well.
Parallel (2015) – By Philip Smolen (Rogue Cinema)
Henry (Juan C. Rodriques) is a physicist who is working on proving the existence of the Hicks Bosun, which in turn will help establish connections with other universes. As his experiments continue, Henry starts trying to communicate with these worlds. Almost a year later, Henry and his team are thrilled to establish contact with another group of scientists from another universe. Their team is led by a beautiful woman named Anne (Kate Paulsen) and over the next few months Henry and Anne exchange ideas and theories about everything. But more importantly, Anne and Henry fall in love despite the vast distances that separate them. But as their feelings deepen for each other the couple must face a horrifying reality. Their universes are not in complete sync and soon they will lose the connection that has allowed them to fall in love.
“Parallel” is a deeply moving 11 minute short film from writer/director Mikel J. Wisler. It’s a rich and satisfying look at star-crossed lovers who are literally separated by the gulf of space and time. Their heartfelt story echoes emotionally because many people have had the experience of a long distance love that’s separated by tremendous distances. Wisler cleverly uses this familiar theme and gives it some sci-fi freshness.
Brilliantly acted by Juan C. Rodriques, Kate Paulsen, Paul Kandarian and Erica Derrickson, “Parallel” is a beautiful cinematic tone poem that fiercely champions the idea of everlasting love. It’s a stunning achievement in romantic sci-fi.