I just watched a movie that goes on my list of best movies ever. I could barely sleep after seeing it, as the ideas rolled around in my head. Although the discussion of free will vs. pre-determination is neither new nor without strong arguments on either side, “Frequencies” wraps the conflict in a fresh perspective, combining a coming-of-age romance and alternate reality with some clever twists. The acting was superlative and the writing fresh and concise (despite what a director friend of mine says about never working with kids). Don’t expect any car chases or explosions in this sometimes odd, deep thinker.
“Frequencies,” also known as “OXV: The Manual,” is billed as a scientific, philosophical romance. It was released in 2013, and I watched it on Amazon Prime.
[SPOILER ALERTS ENSUE]
In “Frequencies,” we see the same chain of events from different points of view as three genius-level children grow to adulthood. Each must deal with the limitations placed on them by a society that channels individuals according to their luck factors, quantified as their “frequencies.” Frequency is revealed by testing; it is pre-determined and immutable–or so society in the persona of their parents and school counselors maintain.
To start, we follow Marie Curie Fortune, as she faces a life where everything goes her way because of her off-the-charts high frequency. She’s never had to wait for a train or been short money to pay a tab, but she must endure a clinically logical life without emotion. Spock would adore her.
Her doting admirer is Isaac Newton Mitchley (Zak) (not sure of the last name), who is cursed with abominably low frequency. He’ll never be at the right place at the right time. Opposites do NOT attract in this world; Zak faces injury or worse if he stays near the object of his affection for longer than one minute in each year.
The writing made me chuckle and exalt at the way points of view were personified in the characters. The overlying romantic plot is pleasant and moderately predictable, but the real fascination is how the world treats these young people and how they try to trick Fate–especially [SUPER SPOILER ALERT] when a secret society is revealed in their midst. Deep forces are at work to preserve the balance between enlightenment and societal stability throughout history. The final resolution for our star-crossed, would-be lovers is treated as a throw-away line of dialogue. That subtle bit alone made me love this movie and its humorous lesson for anyone who takes themselves and their beliefs too seriously.