Parallels (2022) review: Engaging tale of time travel and multiverse

Parallels’ is a French-language sci-fi series that revolves around four teens who get muddled up in time travel and parallel universes. It is currently streaming on Disney+.

Story

Four teens, Sam (Thomas Chomel), Romane (Victoria Eber), Victor (Maxime Bergeron) and Bilal (Timote Rigault), are having a secret party in a bunker as it’s the latter’s birthday, at the same time as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment.

In a strange turn of events, after a short power outage, only Sam is left remaining in the bunker, along with a 30-year-old man claiming to be Bilal (Omar Mebrouk), who turns out to be telling the truth.

In a parallel universe, Romane and Victor were the ones who survived. Four years have passed and now they’re older. Everybody blames the older Victor (Jules Houplain) for Sam’s disappearance, while the older Romane (Jade Pedri) struggles with the death of her mother.

They manage to make it back in time. Present-day Sam, older Bilal, older Romane and older Victor reach out to Bilal’s mother Sofia (Naidra Ayadi), an ERN employee working on the LHC experiments to help them.

Will they be able to alter the events of the past to save their future?

Performances

Omar Mebrouk stands out as a full-grown man with the personality of a child. The older Bilal is also kind of the protagonist if there is one in the series.

Jules Houplain successfully translates the latent pain and anger of Victor, competently switching between the more child-like personality and the wrath.

Apart from these, Maidra Ayadi excels as the worried mother/guardian figure for the group. Other characters are mostly generic which you would see in series of this genre.

Positives

Parallels wastes no time in setting the premise for the narrative, as the disappearance makes way for a thrilling storyline. The pacing is perfect.

The plot is unpredictable. Why some of the characters come back older than others remains a mystery until explained.

The cinematography is top-notch, with beautiful shots all across the series. The CGI is also adequate for a show.

There is enough humor to subset the themes of death and envy. At one point, Victor believes that Thanos snapped Romane and Victor away. Quite meta.

Negatives

Some parts needed a better explanation, for example, why exactly do Romane and Victor gain powers and not Bilal?

The equation between Victor and his parents should have been explored in more depth. Also, the problem of Herve still being there to ruin Romane’s future isn’t addressed. Didn’t she want to get rid of him, which is why she traveled back in time?

Verdict

Consisting of just six episodes, Parallels is an apt light binge watch. If you like Stranger Things, it will surely appeal to you. Definitely worth a watch.

Rating: 3.5/5


Also Read: Parallels (2022) summary and ending explained

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