Tribeca 2021 Screening – Glenn (Vincent Kartheiser) is driving home from a wedding reception as the new film ULTRASOUND opens. After getting a flat he stumbles through the pouring rain to the home of Art (Bob Stephenson) and Cyndi (Chelsea Lopez), in hopes of finding assistance. Talkative Art freely chats about his battle with depression while Cyndi offers practical assistance to Glenn in the form of a bag of rice to dry his smartphone. Then Art offers his wife to Glenn. Don’t worry. Things only get much stranger from here. Thanks to Rob Schroeder’s razor-sharp directing from a screenplay by Conor Stechschulte based on his original graphic novel Generous Bosom, we have a marvelous mirror maze of storylines layered in a mystery that never cheats, confounding endlessly, resulting in one of the best movies of 2021.
Katie (Rainey Qualley) is dating political candidate Alex Harris (Chris Gartin) on the down-low. She has a sneaking suspicion that she is being gaslit somehow and becomes increasingly discontented with her sequestered life in a posh apartment. Meanwhile, Shannon (Breeda Wool) has just been hired at a top-secret underground facility run by Dr. Conners (Tunde Adebimpe) who is studying a now wheelchair-bound Glenn. Lost? Good. That is the intended effect as Schroeder and Stechschulte deftly weave a narrative that keeps the audience on the cusp of discovery with every new turn, every new scene. To explain things further would be to rob you, the audience of the main thrill that ULTRASOUND offers; Mystery.
I can comment on the performances which are all stellar with a few notable standouts. Kartheiser‘s Glenn is a smarmy loser, yet somehow we are made to sympathize with him despite being almost entirely in the dark. Then there is Lopez as Cyndi who wastes no time in conveying a foggy, broken spirit even while her character should know what is going on. Too Breeda Wool‘s portrayal of Shannon, an impeccably professional scientist with a moral compass is the straight-man so-to-speak, guiding the audience with a slightly suspicious air. For me though, the stand-out was Stephenson as the gelatinous Art. His teddy bear face paired with pretty much everything he says and does in the movie is something that will stick with you for days.
Of course, absolutely none of this would work if not for the ingenious script and story by Stechschulte with Schroeder’s skillful direction that keeps the audience in the dark while still knowing how to deliver enough information to keep us hooked. I haven’t had a chance to read the source material but what I can say is that this is a Nolanesque foray into the mysteries of perception that demands multiple views. This is on par with Primer, Momento, and Fight Club. Alas, I may have said far too much already.
In short, for god’s sake see this movie and see it cold. Don’t watch a trailer, don’t look at any more reviews, just jot this title down as one not to miss.
8 out of 10
|RATING:||NR||No Trailer Available|
|Runtime:||1 Hr. 43 Mins.|