Wander Darkly

An attractive but otherwise mostly unpleasant couple bickers through what may or may not be the afterlife following a horrific car crash.

Genre(s): Drama

Director: Tara Miele

Actors: Sienna Miller, Diego Luna, Beth Grant, Aimee Carrero, Tory Kittles, Vanessa Bayer

Year: 2020

MPAA Rating: R

Country: USA

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We barely have met couple Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna) before they get into a horrific car crash after an unpleasant date night. We know enough that they are young and beautiful, and share their lives with a house and a newborn baby—but no wedding ring, which seems to be stubbornly agreed upon by each (but seems to cause great distrust in their relationship).

When Adrienne wakes up in the hospital, she sees her mangled man on a neighboring gurney, seemingly dead, or maybe she is dead herself? No one can seem to see her, she sees her body rolled into a fridge in the morgue, and she walks from one unrelated place to another, as though through walls. It is a nightmare she can’t seem to awake from. When she tries to kill herself, suddenly Matteo is there, bodily whole, talking her down. Is she dead? He says no. But she saw her own funeral! Matteo implies that she needs patience, it will work itself out. Meanwhile, she feels like she is in her own sort of purgatory of limbo.

Matteo helps Adrienne through her disorientation, guiding her through their shared memories, as she tries to patch together what made them fall in love in the first place. Their relationship was falling apart at the time of the accident, full of suspicion, bickering, and a tendency for Matteo to leave for days. Honestly, they don’t seem like a good couple, and are basically unpleasant to hang around. It is interesting that they each remember major moments differently (“You left!” “No! I was right there the whole time! I came back!”), but the retelling of their past, present, and potential future seems like eavesdropping on a dysfunctional couple’s counseling. They continue arguing about little things, even if that isn’t actually the elephant in the room. If your idea of fun is listening to people process their relationship, you may like this film more than me.

As it is, the portrayal of what’s real, what’s not, who’s there, and who may or may not be dead is inconsistent and muddy enough to make you not really be shocked when the twist finally occurs. If these two people were actually good together, I would have been more invested in the big reveal, but I was kind of relieved that their relationship could have some sort of resolution, even if it took a car accident to make that happen.

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