Film Review: "Harmony: The Five Frequencies Saga Part 1" is the title of a real movie
The new Australian fantasy movie Harmony: The Five Frequencies Part 1 (hereafter Harmony) is a sort-of movie composed of expired pop-culture bits and pieces; it’s the teenaged saviour narrative popularised by the Harry Potter and Hunger Games franchises; the aesthetics are from angst-ridden Avril Lavigne music videos; and the soggy centre is a romance that’s awkward in a way that calls to mind the Twilight movies.
However, it can be said that the visual craft is not entirely unpleasant; it was shot quite cleanly for the most part and I could make out what was going on. When Harmony is at its best whole scenes go by and the actors do a good enough job to make you feel not completely embarrassed, considering the atrocious and vaguely surreal lines they are given.
That does it for the positives. Harmony is a miserable experience without a speck of momentum or originality. And starting your movie, your Part 1 of a freakin’ saga movie, with Times New Roman font exposition isn’t exactly putting your best foot forward. Neither is immediately following that up with additional voiceover exposition. Hilariously though, I still wasn’t sure exactly what was going on, other than that there’s this girl who can absorb negative emotional energy from others. Does that sound vague? The vagueness only gets vaguer from there.
Harmony, instead of introducing defined characters with context and purpose, as is usually the case with movies, is some guy going on about his corny New Age mythology about Love and Fear as ultimate powers unto themselves and then inserting these jagged, unfinished bits of mythology up the rears of some unfortunate human meat puppets. This is not a story. It’s a power point presentation.
The plot follows Harmony, a mopey bore (Jessica Falkholt) who has the power to relieve people of their fear through her touch. She’s a homeless teenager who looks more glamorous than most of us on our best days. She spends her nights trawling around the same alleyway, the same dimly lit, underpopulated street corner, and other poorly designed sets, sucking negative energy from depressed citizens. The city she feels so compelled to help has no rhythm, quirk, or sign of life. She ends her nights by washing away the accumulation of negative energy with a bucket of water. This doesn’t seem to affect her one way or the other.
Why does Harmony help people? What is there to overcome? And what exactly does she do with her time in between these repetitive, stakes-free scenes? These are mysteries to me. I suspect writer/director Corey Pearson doesn’t know either. Maybe he’ll figure it out when Part 3 comes out.
The secondary protagonist has even less going on. He’s an uncomfortable dullard named Mason, played with frightening monotone by a lobotomised Jerome Meyer. Through a ridiculous contrivance he meets Harmony. She’s so amazing, so breathtakingly special, that she completely changes his character, suddenly turning this heretofore blank slate into a sputtering, talkative cornball. And she can touch him without feeling the blackness of his negativity, presumably because there is, in fact, nothing there. Much like Edward couldn’t read Bella’s thoughts because there was nothing there. That’s just my guess though. So, you know, romance ensues. Together, they manage to generate the combined heat of a cold shower.
I hate to say all this, because there really is a sweet earnestness about Harmony. That I dismiss its basically nice message of empathy and kindness with a roll of the eyes and a mutter of “get the fuck outta here” is sad. But there it is.
1 Star out of 5