Parallax is the story of a man trying to create the Internet, sort of. Taking place in the 1980s, he uses television sets and radio waves to build a revolutionary, new communications device that will connect everyone to everyone else. In the meantime, he himself becomes more and more isolated, as he withdraws into his obsession with making his dream a reality.
Abbot Allen wants to create a network to bring everyone together. In his obsession to create it, though, he loses his job, his wife, and a lot more. He keeps trying to show those around him how revolutionary his new technology is, but most just don’t understand it. The more Abbot tries to explain it to them, the more ridiculous and pathetic he looks—and the more determined he is to make it work.
The film is meant to be, at least somewhat, a metaphor for how the technology that unites us also separates us, making us more alone in our Internet bubble, rather than more connected. It’s a clever concept, but I don’t think it really comes off very well.
The movie does get the ’80s atmosphere down pretty well. One character is obsessed with television commercials, and the things he watches definitely capture the feel of ’80s culture. He then assembles these commercials into what’s essentially a proto-YouTube, which Abbot thinks is a flagrant misuse of his technology. Even though it’s his brainchild, even Abbot doesn’t understand the full scope of what he’s creating and wants to limit it.
All in all, this movie is an interesting experiment and some might enjoy it. Personally, I saw what it was trying to do, but I didn’t think it quite worked the way it was supposed to.