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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Frequencies (aka OXV: The Manual) movie review: do you feel me?

Frequencies green light

A film to warm the cockles of your geeky heart, an incredibly ambitious and profoundly provocative science fiction drama about ideas that require no FX to sell them.
I’m “biast” (pro): yay! real science fiction! yay!

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Are you hungry for true ideas-fueled science fiction? Do you lament that we so rarely see such things in movies? Then here is a film to warm the cockles of your geeky heart. For here we have a low-budget — I’m gonna guess ultra-low-budget — little British tale from a slightly parallel universe where everyone has a “frequency.” High frequency correlates with good luck and “nature” working hard to give you “everything you want”; low frequency correlates with klutziness and doofiness and general bad luck. It’s a metaphor for privilege and chance and even romantic attraction, though it seems to work in an anti way with Zak (played in very convincing ascending ages, from eight-ish to teen to adult, by Charlie Rixon, Dylan Llewellyn, and Daniel Fraser [The Patrol]) and Marie (Lily Laight [In Secret], Georgina Minter-Brown, and Eleanor Wyld). He is super-low frequency; she is super-high. When they’re kids, they can’t spend more than 60 seconds in close proximity before something weirdly disastrous happens; she finds this intriguing and develops scientific experiments around the pitfalls of their interactions. She’s coolly rational and lacking in empathy; he’s goofy and completely smitten with her from childhood. And then he discovers a way to change his frequency so that he can spend a little more time with her… Writer and director Darren Paul Fisher extrapolates from a sci-fi version of an awkward teen romance and takes his beautifully oddball — and yet still somehow wholly plausible — concept into a realm where the fundamental nature of the universe, or at least of humanity, is called into question. Frequencies ends up, electrifyingly, in an insanely bonkers and kind of amazing place where words have literally power and free will and creativity are up in the air. This is incredibly ambitious and profoundly provocative science fiction drama that you must see if you value thought as much as you do action in your cinema.


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Frequencies (2014)
US/Can release: May 22 2014 (VOD same day)
UK/Ire release: direct to VOD

MPAA: not rated
BBFC: rated 12 (infrequent moderate sex references)

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, you might want to reconsider.

  • BrianJKelly

    Sounds awesome! As always, thanks for the heads-up!

  • RogerBW

    A film where the loser guy goes after the amazingly pretty girl, and MaryAnn still enjoyed it? I have to see this.

  • I get that filmmakers (and all storytellers) often fall back on their own fantasies. That’s okay. But ya gotta make those fantasies relevant to those who don’t share your naughty bits! This one does.

  • Oracle Mun

    Sounds fascinating!

  • Quantum Surfer

    The premise of this film sounds like a novel interpretation of the quantum basis of the Law of Attraction, where if you adopt a positive outlook & wish hard enough the universe adjusts to realise your wishes

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    The Doctor: She’s my TARDIS. And she’s a woman.
    Amy: [beat] Did you wish really hard?

  • Not at all.

  • PleiadianX

    Loved this movie!!!! Funny enough its not sci-fi coz its real. Frequency is – qi/kundalini/life force. Amazing Movie!!!!

  • Drayson Roberts

    I’ve been watching this film over and over again on Showtime. “Frequencies” vibrates with me and rings with reality. It’s a great example of how people respond to others from their vibration and not as much on how they look. If you’re not feeling well, it seems nothing goes right. Taking this to extremes, as in Frequencies, where one’s genes can give you a vibration so that the universe works to bring you everything you want, and vice versa, just shows you what is happening in your life all the time. Eat some junk food and you get bad luck.

  • Ken Kaplan

    Actually the film is closer to reality than conventional thought would imagine. Read Ask and It is Given by Ester Hicks ( the basis of “The Secret”) and you might understand that frequency is real, and one’s fate in relationship to it (which can be raised) are inexorably entwined. Art here is close to imitating life.

  • You’re not going to find much respect for pseudoscientific claptrap here. Frequency such as you’re talking about isn’t real. Confirmation bias is, however.

  • Ken Kaplan

    For those wedded to Newtonian physics, E=mc2 was clap trap too. After all, how could matter and energy possibly be the same? It took the entire physics community, and they were the elite of their time, 4 years after publication, and that was only due to Planck, to catch up (ever hear of these people?) .And Einstein himself never fully understood quantum mechanics. So don’t worry. You’re in good company.

  • Come talk to us when your frequency theory has been scientifically accepted in the way that Einstein’s physics has.

  • Bluejay

    “The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” — Carl Sagan

    They eventually stopped dismissing Einstein because his ideas were confirmed by rigorous experimental tests and empirical evidence. If that ever happens to the ideas in “The Secret,” then you may have a point. Until then, your argument is just faith and wishful thinking.

  • Ken Kaplan

    Goodbye. We have no area of reference in agreement. Have a good life.

  • Ken Kaplan

    Have a nice life.

  • Atiyab Zafar

    An excellent and ambitions masterpiece, in recent time we should get more people to watch these original movies
    https://filmicsite.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/frequencies-2003-an-ambitious-and-cerebral-film/

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