Dream Scenario – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Dream Scenario – In the Thoughts of Sleep: The Good, Bad and Surreal

To speak about creative passion is to have thoughts of the unknown.  To weave interesting threads of ideas and stories, there are boundless possibilities in the imaginative.  In the world of film, creative avenues help push unique bravado within stories, providing avenues of escape and intrigue.  Going against the grain is a risk, but it can lead to amazing results.  In this review, I look at the latest indie film from A24 studios.  Through an interesting premise, we get a mixture of thematic prowess in the weird.  From concept to reality, Dream Scenario is a blissful dark satire about the downside of believing in the unbelievable. 

This film follows Paul Matthews (Nicolas Cage), a hapless man who gets entangled in the weirdest phenomenon.  When his life starts to change, the newfound attention will lead to some dire consequences.  To begin this review, I will profess that the little you know the better.  What I will at least begin with is showcasing the general premise of this film.  Paul Matthews is a family man and a tenured professor at a local university.  Through conversational moments and generality (of scenes), you get an understanding that he is just a normal man doing his duties as a father and husband.  Everything seems normal, until he starts getting randomly looked at or approached by students, strangers, and long forgotten Exes.  What do these people all have in common: They all have dreams where he appears in them (plot point).  This drives Matthews through a gauntlet of emotional reverie that parallels themes of celebrity and social media craze.  Through this unique situation, it leads to a journey that is satirical, comical, and darkly dramatic.  From this point, I will not dive into any major details (to not spoil any of the specific scenes) and only describe the story in broad strokes.  With most satirical films, there is an aspect of bring about relative means (of society), through an about face lens of the obviousness.  What the filmmakers do here is take social gravitas and mix it within the most outrageous idea to create a spectacle that is awkward, comical, and unpredictable.  The way Matthews becomes recognized reflects current social media trends, but also is clasp in the dangers of the limelight.  The suddenness of fame becomes a delicate dance of emotional fragility that pulls on the triviality of importance.  Within the many thematic threads, it is the wholesomeness in Matthews’ interactions with family and friends that brings about a marker of our own guise to this world.  What is it that makes everyone ‘important’ in the grand scheme of things.  This rhetorical questioning lifts the film above the genre to become something relative … even if its weird. 

The idea of appearing in dreams is a matter of not just a positive (for Matthews), but also a negative.  What is it that drives us to think about anyone within the spectrum of the imaginative.  What if, we think of ‘person A’ in the dimmest of lights?  The consequence of this phenomenon goes through highs and lows, driving a witness-like aspect through ominous reflection.  Paralleling this with our own social media interactions leads to the ultimate fragility of society, creating situations of ‘lack of understanding’ and the ‘blindness of perception’.  As certain things evolve, Matthew’s life (in the third act) is driven to a unique crossroads, providing an ambiguous end that levies within the perceived notion of what it means to dream.  Dream Scenario is a unique indie/dark satire that pushes ideas, commonality and perspective through an original lens of filmmaking.  If you are a fan of creative stories, satires, or Nic Cage, this is one for you.  This might not be a film for everyone … but I think it is worth seeing on the big screen. 

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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