A new entry into Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s supernatural universe is here in the form of 2019’s Synchronic. The movie made its Netflix debut quite recently. It only had a theatre release, and gosh, they made us wait so long. It debuted at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Then got its first original release on October 23, 2020. Starring Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan in the lead role, Synchronic is the first movie coming to the full circle of the universe the directors are creating. Starting off with Resolution, Spring, Endless and now continuing with Synchronic. So what does the movie has in store? What is its connection with the other movies, and what does the ending mean for the future? Let’s take a look at it.
Synchronic follows two EMT officers look at the cases of disappearing people and some gruesome murders. All tied with each other in one way or another leading to a mysterious drug called Synchronic. The movie marks one of the most mature takes on the story the directors are trying to build for years with the last few movies—quite a unique time travel phenomenon itself.
Synchronic tells the story of Steve and his best friend, Dennis. Two EMT officers working their nightshift investigating a bunch of disappearances and murders. Each quite different from the first one. The case here is the younger ones are disappearing, and the adult ones are meeting with death. Anyway, coming back to our main characters, Steve and Dennis. We realize Dennis is a married man with a daughter, whereas Steve is single.
Steve suffers from a brain tumor in his pineal gland, which will allow him to live up to six weeks further. So he spends the last days living his life hooking up with girls and taking care of the case. He is also quite close to his best friend’s family as he cares about them as much as Dennis does.
The investigation of these gruesome murders has one common thing here. It’s a drug called Synchronic. Upon investigating and meeting with the creator of the drug, the duo of Steve and Dennis realize the drug allows a person to time travel in the time according to the place, he consumes it. When Dennis’s daughter becomes a victim of the drug, this calls in for Steve and Dennis to take drastic measures to save her.
The Synchronic Drug Explained
The Synchronic Drug basically lets a person time travel for seven minutes to the time he wants. It makes a person see the time non-linearly. All the events we witness come from the root of the brain called the pineal gland. So in the movie, the drug plays with this pineal gland which in turn helps the taker time travel. But there are a few exceptions to this phenomenon.
Coming to Dr. Kermani, the creator behind the drug. He confessed the company released the drug in a rush believing it’s just hallucinatory, but no. According to him, the pineal gland of a teenager or young lad only allows one to time travel. Because they are non-calcified pineal glands, in turn, with someone older people, they might become a ghost or die with the effects of time travel depending on the age. Steve, who suffers from a brain tumor, gets a pass. Due to the tumor, his pineal gland somewhat represents the one of a teenager. Thus, allowing him to be the only one to bring back Brianna.
Diving deep into what Steve found out when he experimented with a number of Synchronic drugs to bring back Brianna now. He found out the locations play an important role in time traveling. Simpler changes to places cause a drastic impact on the time where they can be transported to. This explains the deaths portrayed at the initial beginning of the film. For example, the man in the building is transported to the sky, probably because the building never existed at the time he got transported.
Furthermore, if he wants to come back to the original time, he needs to make it to the original location. If he can’t, he needs to consume the drug once again. Plus, he can transport and bring back anything from the past or future by holding onto the thing he needs. Failing to come to the original place in time might leave you stuck there.
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Synchronic Ending Explained
So after figuring out all the rules of time travel with Synchronic Drug testing, it a number of times. Steve embarks on the mission to rescue Brianna. He asks Dennis about the one place she would go to, and he gets to know about her favorite rock. Steve is transported into the times of war, where he gets hit off with bombs and rifles hurling around here and there. But somehow finds Brianna hiding faraway. In the final moments, we see Steve giving his last drug to Brianna, who goes back to her original timeline reuniting with her family.
Steve, on his side, is stuck in the past after rescuing Brianna. Battling through the war times and presumably die in the near future. As we see in the end, his ghost reunites with his best friend. Furthermore, even if anyone like Dennis tries, he can’t rescue his best friend. As seen in a movie, many died of the drug. So the creator of the drug, Dr. Kermani, couldn’t handle the toll and committed suicide, in turn leaving the Synchronic drug recipe a secret.
Synchronic’s Connection With The Other Movies
So, Synchronic falls under the same umbrella of the movies Resolution, Spring, Endless. All directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. So what’s the connection here? Basically, when Dr. Kermani explained the origins and effects of the drug. He explained the drug comes from a unique red flower that grows in a very isolated location in the California Desert. This red flower we are talking about comes from the movie Endless. Its entire plot is based on this red flower.
The Endless is a movie that sees two brothers who receive a cryptic message from a place they escaped as kids. This encourages them to revisit the place and meet the cult. Getting to know more about them, they realize the cult has been living the time of life smoking a mysterious red flower that traps them in a loop forever since the world was created.
Also, in turn, The Endless is the answer to Benson and Moorhead’s first directorial Resolution. There we saw a graphic designer trying to help his best friend get off drug addiction in Cabin. What followed was an unexplainable time loop with their fate revealed in Endless. They see both of the friends living their ends in a loop.