In this Taiwanese sci-fi thriller, authorities believe a child murderer to have been one of five people killed in a bus crash, so they “electro-zap” all five consciousnesses into the body of a prisoner (Tony Yang) in order to interrogate their technically deceased suspects. Confused? You will be.
It is ironic that a film about multiple personalities would not have one of its own, stealing everything from premise to logo from M Night Shyamalan’s Split. Thankfully, Yang avoids the risible caricatures that marked James McAvoy’s performance(s), though it is virtually impossible to keep track of which personality he is meant to be at any one time since he keeps discovering new ones. The result is like watching a man spend 100 minutes finding old coins underneath sofa cushions, ingesting them and slowly going mad from copper poisoning.
Even if one accepts the daft central conceit, the story is rendered nonsensical by characters, who act entirely without reason, and incongruous editing that creates all manner of continuity errors. It also suffers from a visual blandness in setting the first half in featureless white rooms; even when the drama goes inside the prisoner’s mind it remains in the same location with different lighting. The action picks up once it leaves the facility, including a sequence behind the wheel of a car where the multiple-personality protagonist keeps switching personas, some of whom cannot drive.
Unfortunately it never takes long for another convoluted plot development, baffling twist or one-dimensional character to take the wheel and steer the movie somewhere else, while the audience is still trying to work out what this bus was doing in the first place. It gets to the point where even the characters are commenting on how they do not understand what is going on.
This makes Plurality a confusing and clunky copycat, albeit a fitting addition to the legacy of M Night Shyamalan.
Plurality is released digitally on demand on 19th July 2021.
Watch the trailer for Plurality here: