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The Mandela Effect Phenomenon (2024) Review

The Mandela Effect is a false memory shared by a large group of people. Taking its name from Fiona Broome and many others’ belief that they saw newspaper headlines in the 1980s announcing Nelson Mandela’s death. In actuality, he died in 2013 after being released from prison in 1990 and serving as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

It is interesting how, and why, so many people can misremember the same thing the same way. The Mandela Effect Phenomenon claims to offer a solution but calling it farfetched and its presentation lacking would be an understatement. Within the first five minutes of The Mandela Effect Phenomenon, the viewer is bombarded with claims about the Large Hadron Collider causing our universe to crash into the one next to it. As if that’s not outrageous enough, it’s punctuated with talk of satanic rituals and the Hindu deity Shiva living inside the collider.

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The proof of this? That Darth Vader actually says “No, I am your father” rather than what most of us think the line is, “Luke, I am your father.” The line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” which is actually “If you build it, he will come.” and people who are certain Froot Loops was originally called Fruit Loops are also cited as evidence.

Considering, people have been misremembering Humphry Bogart saying “Play it again, Sam” in Casablanca. It’s actually “Play it, Sam” and Ingrid Bergman says it long before SuperCollidesr were even theorized, I was calling bullshit on it. I probably would have turned it off at this point if I wasn’t reviewing it. I probably should have anyway.

Writer/director Robert Kiviat (Aliens on the Moon: The Truth Exposed, Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction: Encore Edition) spends much of the film having journalist Mark LaFlamme tell us how everything, from family photos to the Coca-Cola logo, are different from how he remembered it.

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To him, that’s proof our reality merged with another, changing some things and leaving others as they were. To me, it’s proof he has a bad memory, or perhaps, as Captain Kirk once said, “I think he did a little too much LDS.” And that last one may be the most likely reason someone can make the leap from David Letterman referring to Interview With the Vampire as Interview With a Vampire to we’ve been thrown into an alternate universe.

“Something mind-blowing is happening, where half the people swear reality’s been altered, like they’re from another timeline. Millions claim movies are different, and TV show titles, celebrities’ names, logos and brands, other cultural touchstones, and even the Bible are not what they once were. Is a supernatural force ‘Editing’ history?”

The Mandela Effect Phenomenon Press release

LaFlamme also makes reference to Simulation Theory, the idea we’re all part of a computer game or simulation. That was the subject of a more interesting, if still far from believable, film A Glitch In the Matrix which came out a couple of years ago. At least it interviewed multiple people and put some actual effort into presenting the material. Here it’s mostly one man, the director also makes a brief appearance, offering up unsupported claims and empty phrases like “lots of people are talking about” that become more demented as The Mandela Effect Phenomenon goes on.

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The Mandela Effect Phenomenon could have been an interesting look at an odd phenomenon that probably has a weird, but rational, explanation. Instead, it’s simply the rambling and ranting of another conspiracy monger who “did his own research”. By the time the film shows us a screengrab of an article whose headline refers to theories that CERN is opening a portal to Hell, I seriously wondered if LaFlamme needed psychiatric help, or had just seen Event Horizon too many times.

Regular readers know I frequently review documentaries on topics such as UFOs, Bigfoot and other strange creatures, etc. and I try to keep an open mind. But as I’ve repeatedly said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and what The Mandela Effect Phenomenon offers up is nothing more than opinion. It constantly refers to CERN and the Large Hadron Collider, but pointedly ignores the fact this was happening before CERN even existed. But maybe in a world where people ignore experts and take medical advice from YouTube influencers, that’s all it takes.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release The Mandela Effect Phenomenon to Digital Platforms on July 9th. Unless we end up in yet another universe, and it comes out in August.

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