Breaking Infinity (2023) Review
Breaking Infinity is the kind of film I both love and dread seeing on my review schedule. I love it because indie science fiction is frequently full of interesting ideas and concepts that bigger budget films don’t deal with. I hate it because, often due to their indie budgets, they can’t do those ideas justice. This film had created a bit of a buzz on its festival run, but could it live up to the hype?
Liam (Neil Bishop, Beautiful Disaster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) lies in a hospital bed as an old man (Martin Bishop, Wonder Woman, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) shouts at him to wake up. He does, briefly appearing in a burning building before finding himself back in the hospital where he passes out only to wake up as a different, less injured, version of himself in a different version of the hospital.
His doctor Emma (Zoe Cunningham, Homesick, Th’dread Rattlin’) tells him he was exposed to intense magnetic fields and has short term memory and partial memory loss. He remembers the injuries he woke up with, injuries she says he never had. It soon becomes clear that Liam has become, as Kurt Vonnegut put it, “unstuck in time”. But what caused it, and why does he keep seeing apocalyptic visions?
Director Marianna Dean, who has several shorts and episodes of popular British TV shows like Emmerdale Farm and Hollyoaks to her credit, makes her feature debut with Breaking Infinity, working from a script by David Trotti (Buds, Exorcist: House of Evil). They throw the viewer in at the deep end with no clue as to what’s happening, something I’m usually not a fan of. Here however it works since it puts us in the equally clueless Liam’s shoes.
We are limited as human beings to existing in a single time. What if we could exist at multiple times or across all times? Would it be worth sacrificing our small human comforts, like love, for this ability? What would we do differently if we could live a moment again?Marianna Dean
Breakin Infinity’s story then revolves around finding the answers that will restore Liam’s memory as to what happened in the lab to cause the accident. And how, or even if, he can stop the countdown to Armageddon it seems to have started. Not an easy task with no way to tell which version of the events he’s experiencing is the “real” one.
Breaking Infinity is a character and dialogue-driven film, no surprise given its rather limited budget, a good bit of which seems to have gone on securing convincing looking locations, especially for Liam’s lab. Thankfully the small cast, the only other characters of note are Carter (Jonny Phillips, The Dead of Jaffa, Bronson) the official in charge of the experiment, and Liam’s assistant Garret (Zed Josef, The Man in the Trench Coat, Some Adult Content), all deliver excellent performances.
While we do get the odd exchange that goes along the lines of
“Where am I?”
“Where is that?”
“Where you need to be.”
“Where do I need to be?”
the script mostly manages to avoid getting bogged down in attempts to be clever or overly ominous and at least tries to make the scientific jargon sound like something besides technobabble. Those two factors alone put Breaking Infinity ahead of many other attempts at low-budget science fiction like Solitary or even Tangent Room.
Cinematographer Vince Knight, whose work will be familiar to regular readers from films such as Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, Heckle and Wolf Manor along with editor Stephen Hedley (The Loneliest Boy in the World, Monochrome) do a great job of visualizing Liam’s jumps and the alternate realities he lands in. While Breaking Infinity is light on effects, effects supervisor Matthew Strange (Deus, Legacy of Lies) and his team do a fine job with just a couple of green screen shots not measuring up.
An intriguing science fiction mystery with a plausibly human explanation, Breaking Infinity is one of the few films of its kind to really get things right. It’s certainly worth seeing if you get the chance.
Breaking Infinity will be released to theatres in the UK on June 1st and to Digital Platforms on June 3rd. You can check the film’s website for more details. And if you have time for more movies, you can travel over to FilmTagger for some suggestions on what to watch.