‘Human Factors’ (2021) | Movie Review | Sundance 2021

My first international film for this season of Sundance, ‘Human Factors’ centers around a disheveled family who after a suspected home invasion are caused to look at the fragility of their relationships. The father Jan (Mark Waschke) works with his wife Nina (Sabine Timoteo) and their two children, an older sister and younger brother are both watching as their parents start to question their bond with each other in this slow burn that may be a little too drawn out to be as impactful.

The film is told in a non-linear fashion, starting with the inciting incident of the attempted break-in, then going back individually through the perspective of each family member. At times it confused me exactly where we were in the stories timeline but not for too long where I was lost. There are subtle hints at cracks in this couples relationship sprinkled throughout the story, but the director is actively remaining in an unhurried pace that in the end takes away from his characters potency.

This film also does not really have a score. There are some small moments where you will hear something but for the most part it is completely silent other than what you see on screen. While I do see the impact-fullness of not having a score, I don’t feel ‘Human Factors’ was able to counterbalance it with enough engaging moments in the film to make you forget.

The acting overall was good from all the main and supporting cast. The standout coming from Sabine Timoteo who does her best to carry the film on her shoulders. I liked seeing her coming to realizations that her love with Jan is dwindling. Seeing her anxious with worrying someone will break in again, as well as questioning herself and whether she believes anything actually did happen.

Overall, ‘Human Factor’ is not for everyone, It vaguely reminds me of ‘Downfall’, a film with a similar premise but done more for laughs and with the drama. There are strong performances from the leads but the film overall did not resonate with me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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