Interstellar travel, time travel, and parallel worlds, are the three final frontiers of humanity. Our current level of knowledge in these three areas are almost non-existent yet our imagination continually leaps us forward, or brings the future to our present. This is where Alpha Gateway or The Gateway is about. The beauty and consequences of a technology that allows us to travel between parallel worlds.
As with any review, SPOILER alert!
Alpha Gateway or The Gateway is an Australian indie Sci-Fi drama film about a particle physicist who accidentally discovered parallel world travel. Jane (Jacqueline McKenzie) is grieving over the loss of her husband which prompted her to take their experiment to the final level, human transfer.
Jane Chandler found her husband’s doppelganger and brought him back to her world and lived happily ever after. But “lived happily ever after” is fantasy. Her troubles began the moment she stepped through the machine into the other world. From the scientific concerns to the ethical issues of a well-documented person who died in an accident, to that person showing up alive and healthy.
Also starring in the film is Myles Pollard as Matt Chandler (Jane’s husband), and Ben Mortley as Regg (Jane’s partner). The story was written by Michael White and director John V. Soto.
The acting was good especially coming from veteran actors Jacqueline McKenzie and Myles Pollard. From playing a very happy, perfect couple, with two perfect kids, to having their world shattered because of reality. It was clear that they brought in their experiences from their respective earlier films in this one.
On the design side, the transition from one world to another was kept simple. No over intricate and multi-layer contrast between worlds which are usually seen in this genre. One world is all scientificy (if that is even word) of white and blue, while the other was black and red. Easily, one would identify the white and blue motif for the original world as our world but it could also mean a corporate-controlled world. While the black and red combination could be easily associated with Authoritarian Communism, Fascism, or even Nazism, but could only be another violent world.
The same can be said for the effects. They did not go for huge machines with a lab composing of a hundred scientists and specialists, or some electrifying effects whenever the machine was doing its magic. By choosing to keep it simple, they prevented any distraction from the message of the movie. Simple is better. Science-fiction is not all about grand effects with huge differences to differentiate one world from another.
It is rare today to see a film with a strong message, Alpha Gateway or The Gateway is one of those rare few. Does having access to a parallel world the answer to our loss? Do we have the right to bring someone across worlds even if circumstances seems to have aligned? Is our personal biases or need more important than the safety of our family and the world? What does it mean to wake up in a world where parallel world travel is a reality? These are the questions tackled by the film and leaves audiences to answer for themselves. How far would you go in the name of love, family, and science?
But all stories must end. As with most movies of this genre it ends where the audience can feel good about the movie and the rest are up for their imagination. In this movie, it went beyond and introduced even bigger questions. It ended in a way where another film can be made or a TV series can continue from. As a Sci-Fi story, this is important, engage the audience. Keep the story open. Overall, I give Alpha Gateway or The Gateway 9.3 out of 10 stars. A must watch if you are a fan of Sci-Fi parallel world drama which engages the audience to put themselves in the shoes of the characters.
Bonus: How Many Worlds Were Featured?
You can find the answer to that in 「Alpha Gateway」 Parallel Worlds Explained.