In the car, on the way to a wedding, a dysfunctional family struggles to come to terms with the incredibly unbearable climate of their journey. Dad is drunk, mom has a hole in her stockings, and brother and sister struggle to see eye to eye. The closer they get to the wedding, the more challenging the journey becomes. This psychedelic journey showcases a series of harrowing realities that are sure to make your skin crawl. This is The Möbius Trip.
I made a comment to a friend the other day that one of the things that I appreciate most about independent films is the fact that they have the ability to be more creative and artistic. The Möbius Trip is a perfect example of this–being one of the most artistic films that I’ve ever seen. Every inch of this film is original, fueled by passion, and right up the alley of the most hardcore cinephiles. Dark tones (both literal and metaphorical) exist throughout the course of The Möbius Trip, and not a second passes in which the film doesn’t dive deeper and deeper into the beautiful world of artistic filmmaking. It’s almost as if Writer-Director Simone Smith took advantage of every opportunity to outdo herself every step of the way–and while that’s a risky move, every second of the film entertains.
The characters are often stuck between dark and light at the same time, representing the duality of man. Sometimes the dark and light are represented physically (i.e. through a window or the darkness in the ever-changing car), and other times those things are simply metaphors, brought to life by the dialogue or the acting. Regardless of which form these things take, however, The Möbius Trip constantly finds ways to see the two battle it out, to fight to their deaths. Good and bad, dark and light, and so on and so forth–this exists in every crevice of The Möbius Trip, and it forces viewers to think, to analyze each of the film’s nuances–and the film as a whole.
The Möbius Trip is incredibly claustrophobic, leaving viewers inside of this packed vehicle for nearly twenty minutes. Throughout the course of the film viewers are forced to feel the wrath of this dysfunctional family, forced to deal with the reality that things are out of our control, and that we are just along for the ride. Beyond this, The Möbius Trip is incredibly dizzying, often causing vertigo and confusion. While this drove me absolutely bonkers, it so wonderfully represents the heart of the film–and it makes us part of the family’s journey. I feel that this aspect of the film is the most important, that if we weren’t literally dizzied by the things occurring throughout the course of the film, that it would have been challenging to buy into the story and the film as a whole. I was pulled in, almost like I was being dragged along on this uncomfortable journey with this uncomfortable family–and, with that, I was able to fully understand the film.
I absolutely love The Möbius Trip, every aspect of it. Even in the moments when I began feeling motion sick, I fell further and further in love with the film. From the claustrophobic nature of the car, to the juxtaposition of dark and light, to the truly spectacular acting, this entire journey was brilliant and enthralling.
Written & Directed by Simone Smith.
Starring Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Stephen McMillan, Mirren Mack, & Andrew Flanagan.