On DVD: 
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Running Time: 
97 minutes

Scalene was made on a budget of $150,000

Scalene: (mathematics) of a triangle having three sides of different lengths.

Zack Parker’s Scalene begins with Janice Trimble (Margo Martindale; Justified), the mother of a mentally disabled man (Adam Scarimbolo; Stake Land) who has been accused of rape, sitting outside the home of his accuser, a female college student (Hanna Hall; Happiness Runs) that acted as his caregiver for a short time. At first glance your not really sure what’s going on, and as the film rolls on you see the story played out through the eyes of the three characters involved in the plot. Time bounces back and forth during each perception change and even more story is added into the mix to give us the full picture of what went on before our beginning with Janice Trimble.

Honestly as I watched the film I began to become agitated with the whole three points formula. I’ve seen it so many times before and it just felt like maybe we were taking the long way round to get to the point of this story. Did Janice’s son rape his caregiver? Was the caregiver taking advantage of her son and things got out of hand? Parker provides enough moments that provoke curiosity but the trip felt agonizingly incoherent at times.

As I reached the mid-way point of the story I instantly retracted my previous statement. Things were starting to make sense now and the seemingly long way around began to come into focus in a way that was both relieving yet disturbing at the same time. By this point it wasn’t a question of whether or not I wanted to finish watching the film. I had to finish watching the film. I was intrigued by the play on human thought that the story had thus inspired in my own mind and the thought that so many others who would eventually see this film might very well find the same revelatory experience as I had.

Despite how fruitful my voyage into Zack Parker’s film turned out to be I still think that some of the story could have been omitted. Not much, but just enough of it that never really clicks with the rest. The end of the film seems like it overextended itself just a bit and I couldn’t help but feel that we could have got on without having seen the last two or three minutes to full encapsulate the story. Still, I was pleasantly pleased by the cleverness of the film and how even when it’s done there is plenty of room for discussion long after the credits roll. Definitely one to check out. As always, final judgment is yours. 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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