Connect with us
Minor Premise

Film

Minor Premise Examines the Fragmented Nature of the Human Mind

The ten different corners of human consciousness are fragmented in this rarefied and intelligent thriller

Blackouts are a useful narrative tool for filmmakers who want to get from A to C while removing B entirely. Any gaps in storytelling can just simply be waved away by saying: “He doesn’t remember.” It also helps to remove boring and unnecessary filler. Minor Premise moves this idea one step further, making its blackouts a central component of the story itself. Using its major premise to minor results, this feature-length scientific experiment slash sci-fi thriller ping-pongs across the dark valleys of the mind to investigate the fragmented nature of the brain’s different receptors. 

Sathya Sridharan plays Ethan, an alcoholic researcher suffering from the death of his father. Carrying on the pioneering work the old man did into the nature of consciousness, he has a machine at his disposal that can alter different parts of his mind. While delivering a lecture over video-call, one student challenges the ethical nature of such a project, to which Ethan rebounds with a laundry list of reasons why it could be a psychological breakthrough: boosting intelligence, suppressing trauma, increasing happiness, and countless other immeasurable benefits. 

But like all good scientific experiments in the movies, there can only be one test patient: himself. Already racked with memory losses, he decides to plug himself into the machine, with the aim of being able to accurately measure and improve his cognitive capability. With the help of a female scientist, excellently played by Paton Ashbrook, he finds himself split into ten distinct personalities — helpfully drawn up on a blackboard — that allow the movie to take a fresh, fragmented approach. 

Minor Premise Movie Review

While the premise is begging out for more satisfying execution, allowing clear demarcation between the different sides of his consciousness to see how they would link up, Minor Premise does a lot with its limited settings and budget. With most of the film confined to Ethan’s house, we are forced to gather clues from the videotapes he sends himself during blackouts, as well as pay attention to his various moods. Combined with serious philosophical inquiry into the nature of the human mind, and this is an intelligent and rarified low-budget indie thriller. While non-neuroscientists may be a little confused by all the technology and science-y speak, this is thankfully compensated by a keen understanding of character and plot, as well as fine performances by the two leads. 

In fact, this might be the first genre film I’ve seen headed by an Indian-American actor. While Today’s Special does comes to mind, that film was specifically about Indian-American culture; here Ethan’s cultural background only comes through once in a brief phone conversation with his mother.  It’s a small representational note that makes Minor Premise a hopeful sign of future films to come. Sridharan is also easily the best thing about the film, able to anchor its more fanciful elements with real human psychology and feelings of regret and isolation combined with a real desire for scientific progress. I could easily see him headline something even bigger and better. 

Written By

As far back as he can remember, Redmond Bacon always wanted to be a film critic. To him, being a film critic was better than being President of the United States

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Facebook

Trending

Review Bombing Review Bombing

The Rings of Power and Review Bombing: The Online A-Bomb

Culture

Best AEW Dynamite Matches of 2022 Best AEW Dynamite Matches of 2022

Best AEW Dynamite Matches of 2022 (So Far)

Wrestling

HBO MAX/DISCOVERY HBO MAX/DISCOVERY

WTH is Going on with HBO Max/Discovery?

Culture

BEST AEW PPV Matches 2022 BEST AEW PPV Matches 2022

Best AEW PPV Matches of 2022 (So Far)

Wrestling

Project Wolf Hunting Project Wolf Hunting

Project Wolf Hunting is a Bloody and Entertaining Midnight Delight

Film

Matt Smith House of the Dragon Matt Smith House of the Dragon

Thank Goodness No One Listened to the Not Matt Smith Movement

Culture

While We Watched While We Watched

While We Watched Reveals the Destabilization of Democracy in India

Film

TIFF 2022: Our Most Anticipated Films TIFF 2022: Our Most Anticipated Films

TIFF 2022: Our Most Anticipated Films

Culture

The Rings of Power “A Shadow of the Past” The Rings of Power “A Shadow of the Past”

The Rings of Power “A Shadow of the Past” Sets up Middle Earth’s Second Age

TV

ranking the film of George Miller ranking the film of George Miller

The Films of George Miller, Ranked From Worst to Best

Film

Best AEW Rampage matches of 2022 Best AEW Rampage matches of 2022

Best AEW Rampage matches of 2022 (So Far)

Wrestling

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 3 review disney+ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 3 review disney+

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 3 Can’t Tip The Scales

TV

L.A. Confidential Directed by Curtis Hanson L.A. Confidential Directed by Curtis Hanson

25 Years Later: L.A. Confidential is Hollywood’s last great noir

Friday Film Noir

Actor Dylan Smith (center) Actor Dylan Smith (center)

LOTR: The Rings of Power: An Interview with Actor Dylan Smith

Features

Eastern Promises (2007) Eastern Promises (2007)

Eastern Promises at 15: Cronenberg’s Gangster Triumph 

Film

Best AEW Moments of 2022 (So Far) Best AEW Moments of 2022 (So Far)

Best AEW Moments of 2022 (So Far)

Wrestling

Connect