★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
A troubled neuroscientist unwisely experiments on himself and creates a deadly dilemma when 10 different fragments of his personality vie for dominance in this intriguing science fiction outing.
Directed by Eric Schultz
Minor Premise is a science fiction chiller that makes up for what it lacks in special effects budget with solid acting, an intriguing story boasting a good share of surprises, and a slick look. Director Eric Schultz, who cowrote the screenplay with Justin Moretto and Thomas Torrey, has crafted a fine slice of science fiction character study.
Ethan (Sathya Sridharan) is an alcoholic neuroscientist living under the long shadow of his professor father Paul (Nikolas Kontomanalos). He uses himself as a test subject in using a machine to explore the nature of consciousness, and winds up splitting his own into 10 different fragments, including anger, libido, euphoria, and primitive. Each segment takes control for six minutes every hour, but naturally it takes a while, and the help of an assistant, to discover this pattern. Ethan’s ex-girlfriend Alli (Paton Ashbrook) is that assistant, and together they discover the highs and dangerous lows of the technology and how it affects Ethan’s sanity and psyche, while Ethan’s public life crumbles. His department chair Dr. Malcolm Blume (Dana Ashbrook), is laying on heavy pressure for funding, and Ethan blows off important meetings because of his obsession with his experiment. Naturally, certain fragments start to dominate, and you can bet they are not the most easygoing ones.
Sridharan has a lot to juggle portraying 10 different sides of a single character and he acquits himself admirably. Paton Ashbrook gets the most screen time after Sridharan, and she turns in a terrific performance, too. The chemistry between these two is believable and strong.
Fans of headier mad scientist fare should find plenty to enjoy with Minor Premise, as Schultz delivers a satisfying psychological thriller with twists and turns aplenty.
Minor Premise, from Utopia Distribution, is available in theaters, virtual cinemas, and Digital and On-Demand from December 4.