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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

Wander Darkly (AFI Fest 2020); Grade: C

Strictly Films welcomes to you to coverage of this years AFI Film Festival! Our next film on the block: Wander Darkly.

Wander Darkly tells a story about a couple Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna), going through a tough time in their relationship, in which consist of fighting over unnecessary crap. As Adrienne and Matteo were heading home to their child after a party, they encounter a tragic car crash. What appears as Adrienne witnessing she had die right then and there, will encounter a supernatural world in which she’ll reminisce on some key moments of her relationship with Matteo, as she wonders what could’ve been done to help secure a much better relationship.

Wander Darkly visually speaking was alright, my favorite shots were whenever the film was shot out in sea. The waters of the sea looked absolutely gorgeous, as the waters looked pretty clear and clean. Followed by an forgettable Score in which I’ve forgotten about already, as it’s been just a day since I last watched. The cast all in all was eh as a whole. The only performance I genuinely did like was Sienna Millers as I thought gave a solid performance as Adrienne. The character itself was just alright, as I didn’t really connect with her nor the relationship she was in herself. Diego Luna playing the romantic partner honestly gave a rather rubbish performance, as his line delivery at times was pretty stale. Worth noting the director behind this film barely has much legitimate experience other than LifeTime television, so that could be the reason for Diego’s poor performance. The chemistry with Diego and Sienna was honestly not all good, as you barely can believe this is a real couple that has an endure a fair amount of love for each other.

Wander Darkly from the beginning almost partaken a concept, in which I thought of as an idea for a short story, but as things proceeded it was an entirely different experience. For the first two acts it was honestly very frustrating, as things really didn’t make much clear sense. T’was very confusing for the most part, as often times I was heckling at my TV screen trying to figure out what was the meaning behind this? Why was there a hooded entity present?

Wander Darkly thankfully saved itself from being a complete disaster and prevented an epic rant from myself, as when the reveal is introduced with Adrienne, Matteo, and the hooded figure in the third act... It all made clear sense. Sure it took a good hour for us to finally adjust the total meaning behind the elements of the story, but at least with the reveal completely prevented itself from becoming a complete dumpster fire.

Unfortunately even with the reveal, Wander Darkly struggles to keep much interest in regards with the romance aspect. The romance is barely strong, not convincing nor believable really, as well as the substance behind the relationship is rather dull. It’s also worth noting that some of the issues in this relationship is kind of embarrassing, as to why this couple was struggling in the first place. The only one that honestly made sense was Matteo and this attractive woman, which somehow gets a hall pass because of some weak excuse. From a story standpoint it’s ok at best, just wish it wasn’t so frustrating to watch, as well the romance aspect being a little bit stronger or even interesting.

Overall, Wander Darkly was just ok. I don’t recommend this film, I think there’s not enough to justify the frustration that is bound to endure while partaking in this experience. -Mitch Smietana

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