Astral is a paranormal film that delves into the human willingness to understand the traumas of our past at whatever means necessary. Alex (Frank Dillane) is a college university student who, up until recently, never seemed to be the overachieving student. But as of late, during class discussions of consciousness, he’s become fascinated with the notion of astral projection. As he immerses himself in the literature and opinions of professionals, things begin to go awry and we learn more about Alex’s intentions with this project.
There are a few different notably great aspects of the film and only a couple of gripes with it. The acting never felt melodramatic or underwhelming; the actors lived to their characters potential without overselling their story arc. This made the characters feel very natural in their choices and the way they went about things. Frank Dillane does a nice job of alluding to the curious and experimental man who succumbs to the woes of past traumas and working in an effort to find answers. Dillane’s character, Alex, is supported by fellow classmate Alyssa Hodge (Vanessa Grasse), who doesn’t necessarily become pivotal to the plot, but provides a break from the main story-line and is nicely integrated in.
One of the best features of Astral is the very clean look and smooth editing it has. Nothing about it feels choppy or lumpy – storytelling wise or visually – which is refreshing, and particularly notable for Chris Mul’s first full-length feature film as director. The story offers a fairly simple and easy-to-follow plot that unravels from beginning to end without huge chunks of exposition. Avoiding this meandering trap is crucial for writers and directors, as it tends to leave obvious dull moments and overwhelmingly “meh” responses from audience members. As easy as it can be to fall into this, Mul does an admirable job of avoiding it. We also had a solid composition of a main story and side story that intertwined and at no point felt like the secondary ‘B story’ was distracting or simply there to push the plot forward.
Original title Astral
TMDb Rating 2 votes