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Plus One
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Plus One (2013)

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Plot Summary:
"Three college friends go to the biggest party of the year, each looking for something different: love, sex and a simple human connection. When a supernatural phenomenon disrupts the party, it lights a fuse on what will become the strangest night anyone has ever seen. As the three friends struggle to find what they’re looking for, the party quickly descends into a chaos that challenges if they can stay friends or if they can even stay alive."


Review by
John Townsend
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@CJohnTownsend
Review Date: 09 September 2013 My Rating: out of 5

 

Many films are born from a good idea, a spark of inspiration from which the story develops and grows. In too many cases this idea becomes lost but with +1 this isn't the case with writer / director Dennis Iliadis following through on his notion.

The film centres around three friends who are attending what is set to be the party of the year. The excess and debauchery on display at said party make anything American Pie came up with look amazingly tame as the teenagers let loose in a variety of drunken and semi-clad scenes. Our three leads however have other things on their minds. David (Rhys Wakefield) is trying to make up with the girl who has just dumped him, Teddy (Logan Miller) has his sights set on making out with his perfect girl and Allison (played by twins Suzanne and Colleen Dengel) is just desperate to overcome her debilitating shyness and social awkwardness. As the party gets into full swing it becomes clear that something peculiar is happening to the party goers which threatens to bring a premature end to the evening.

One of the interesting things about +1 is that the story develops at a relatively slow pace. For much of the film more attention is paid to the lead character's attempts to pursue their own goals as opposed to the supernatural phenomenon occurring around them, and the focus is firmly on teen angst rather than impending doom. When they finally do realise what is happening each reacts differently, even trying to take advantage of the mysterious, black out related time-shifts.

The clever thing Iliadis does with the +1 though is to make the audience ask themselves a question. If you knew you could replay the previous hour or so would you change anything? Each lead approaches this scenario differently and you are left to decide how you would react, knowing that what you change in the past could affect the present. The fear of the unknown is also explored as the party goers begin to question what will happen when the parallel realities align. The film isn't entirely successful in explaining this but due to the enjoyable nature of the film these questions are never too much of an issue, and a little ambiguity is never a bad thing.

OVERALL SUMMARY
On the whole I enjoyed +1. Everything is done well, if not exceptionally, from the performances to the direction and I was interested and intrigued enough to see how the film concluded. The ending could be described as a little lacklustre and is as equally low key as everything that has gone before, but does not detract too much from the film itself, and as I said, it is refreshing to see a director follow the original idea through to fruition.




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