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"Apart": A Chaotic Amnesiac Romance 

Wednesday, Mar 14 2012

Sensitive kids, Emily (Olesya Rulin) and Noah (Josh Danziger) grew up together in small-town Texas. They are bonded by a shared psychic curse, some sort of receptivity to precognitive visions of violent catastrophes, which is given frequent exercise through their disaster-prone school days. (The gauntlet they run on the way to graduation includes bus crashes, suicide, manslaughter, and house fires.) To understand Apart's Time-Life Mysteries of the Unknown tommyrot any better, one would need a psychic bond to first-time writer/director Aaron Rottinghaus, for his movie doesn't do much of a job explaining it. The film shifts between scenes of Emily and Noah in high school, where they hover on the brink of romance, and four years later, when Noah has come out of a coma after a tragedy that remains obscured by amnesiac fog and returns to his hometown to sort out the events of his life. Danziger looks too old as a high schooler; as an adult, he's simply dull, an inexpressive actor of the downcast-eyes, pursed-lips school. There is an attempt to create suspense as the narrative pinches in on the events of That Night from both sides, but a diced-up timeline here is a poor attempt to animate a movie that doesn't work on a scene-by-scene basis.

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Nick Pinkerton


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