Zel is a lonely and isolated young man with a dead end job and a crush on his glamorous neighbour he is too afraid to act upon. After being introduced to lucid dreaming by an eccentric stranger, he attempts to use it to take command of his life.
Appropriately for a film revolving around dreaming, Lucid frequently behaves like one, the people and events acting as subconscious representations of the aspects of his life he wishes he could change.
Zel’s neighbour Jasmine exists as an unattainable fantasy who he idolises without actually knowing anything about her. His is the kind of silent worshipping from afar that shy guys should really have matured their way past while they’re still teenagers if they want to have any chance of appearing as anything over than creepy. She is supposed to seem enigmatic, but in truth it’s because he doesn’t actually know anything about her, and even in the dream sequences she’s still a fantasy girl, since his lack of knowledge of who she is beyond his obsession means there is nothing on which he can base anything resembling a functioning personality.
Meanwhile Kat, a cute waitress at the club where he works, is a more grounded concept of a romantic interest that he would be far better pursuing were he not oblivious to the inexplicable fact she finds him appealing, and his boss Theo, a one-note cockney thug who apparently has nothing better to do than harass his employees, represents the fears and intimidations Zel needs to overcome.
A big problem with the film is its lack of direction. The scenes progress from one to the next with little in the way of development and no sense of urgency, and any intent for the whole thing to feel like one extended dream removes any sense of consequence that would otherwise hang over Zel’s decisions. The dreaming sequences themselves have a suitable otherworldliness to them, seeming like just-off facsimiles of reality, but placing them entirely in the confines of the nightclub constricts their potential and only decreases any true sense of advancement.
Given the subject matter you’d expect that Zel would slowly become increasingly unable to differentiate between dreams and reality, but this is only briefly touched upon before being completely discarded without any consequence. Likewise the concept of being able to dictate the behaviour and emotions of those around you has highly sinister connotations and the potential to go to some dark places, but the implication is never even suggested.
If Lucid had picked a direction in which to go and stuck to it, it could have been far more compelling, but its meandering story and indistinct sense of purpose make it a frustrating watch. It takes a long time to not really go anywhere, but just fizzles out to an unsatisfying conclusion that leaves you wondering exactly what reaction you were supposed to have had to it all.
LUCID / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: ADAM MORSE / STARRING: LAURIE CALVERT, SOPHIE KENNEDY CLARK, BILLY ZANE, CRISTIAN SOLIMENO, FELICITY GILBERT / RELEASE DATE: TBC