Flashback – An engaging, complex and sophisticated melting pot of ideas

(AKA- The Education of Fredrick Fitzell)


Vertigo Releasing presents Flashback on digital platforms from June 4th.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Our life is full of choices and decisions, the very fabric of our existence based on random moments where we decide to turn right, left, forward or back. These choices define who we are, our opportunities and our life journey. Just like you, I have often wondered “what if”; in fact, this internal question only seems to grow with time. Of course, the truth is, the question “what if” serves no useful purpose in a life tied to the irreversible decisions we take. But “what if” that wasn’t the case?

Fifteen years after leaving school, Fred (Dylan O’Brien) appears to have it all; a successful career, a stylish apartment and a loving partner. However, when his mother is rushed into the hospital following an aneurysm, Fred’s everyday life is invaded by a series of strange and uncomfortable flashbacks. These random thoughts transport Fred back to his school life, where a girl haunts his visions. However, as Fred fixates on finding this mysterious girl, his life begins to unravel as the present merges with the past. But are these flashbacks rooted in a forgotten history? Or is his present a mere mirage? And what if life isn’t a linear path?


Of course, I am not about to answer these questions in this review, as everyone will undoubtedly take something different away from Flashback. After all, this movie with no intention of offering simplistic plot devices or easily defined conclusions. As a result, Flashback maybe a rabbit hole too far for some, but for those who love intrigue, mystery and heart-pounding tension, Flashback isn’t about to disappoint.

Dylan O’Brien’s performance is nothing short of superb in the mystery that ensues, but when this is coupled with MacBride’s directorial vision and Brendan Steacy’s cinematography, Flashback comes alive. Here, MacBride is unafraid to challenge his audience; the final thirty minutes of his film are a visual and auditory journey that Kubrick would be proud of. Meanwhile, Steacy bathes Fred’s world in distinct colour palettes, from the neon colours of his flashbacks to the autumnal glow of his present relationships and the stark whites of his career. How audiences will relate to this journey remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, Flashback thoroughly deserves your attention in a crowded online marketplace of delayed releases.


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