There’s something in me that feels so lighthearted and giddy when I think of Time Travel films. It exhilarates the life out of me when I see the element of space-time continuum being warped to alter appreciable and significant events in a character’s lifetime.
This is because for me, it satisfies the human’s cravings for accomplishing their what-if’s and what-nots in life.
What if you go back to save the one you loved? What if you go back in time to see what had not happened if you did this and if you did that?
These are some of the typical questions we relate to time travelling. With regards to the childhood favorite,
Back to the Future, or the heart-wrenching Time Traveler’s Wife or maybe much more stellar sci fi classics such as Men In Black or Star Trek— we see in these films how time travel is utilized to bring delight to the audience and to somehow add supplementary color and vitality to the plot.
However, one can see in TimeCrimes that the time travelling element in this film, somehow frustrates the audience and leaves them with unresolved conflict with regards to how the interminable loop of Hectors even started.
Beginning with such humane perversion from a normal husband-father figure with a big belly and binoculars– any middle-aged man would gain interest from the mysterious barren woman in the forest. It just so happens that the act of delving into it and recklessly desiring for more, lead him to an irrevocable shithole of physical pain, perplexing strategy-making, and indispensable violence.
This then emphasizes the concept of adultery being something that could have been never intentional but more of a mere natural attraction to men. As the plot thickens, one would see how Hector is doing everything to cover his tracks, not just to kill the other Hectors but also to eradicate his now known precarious infidelity.
In this film, given that you have different versions of the same character, the audience would gain a variety of perspectives, therefore also having the power to switch from one film genre to another. At the start, my friends and I were literally stuck to each other, shaking and screaming as the bandaged man was first presented in the scene up until he was chasing Hector to the building. With the first few scenes, one would surely believe that this is a horror/thriller given the Friday the 13th aesthetics and all that. As it progresses, specifically when his face starts bleeding and he sees the bandage on his hand, it would surely make filmbuffs realize that Hector is the bandaged man. This would then switch the film into a mystery/suspense film where we get to solve clues as he tries to figure out what to do next. Action comes in third and last, as a lot of chasing, hitting and hiding were involved. With a little stint of comedy, you would realize that as a bandaged man, he was actually just trying to peep through the window to see what was happening inside the building but initially, the thought of seeing his bloody face at the start of the film really caused a jumpscare to the entire class.
In light of all that has been mentioned, one thing that gave this film an edge was how he recycled the “hurt-one-woman-to-save-the-other” concept for adulterous conflicts by making it not seem so dramatic, rather showcasing the act of cutting the younger woman’s hair, one of his full blown compulsory decisions as a “faithful” husband to his wife. This blew the audience aghast regarding the liquidation of values of Hector who did not want to hurt his wife in the first place but ending up doing so, in the worst way possible.
My greatest admiration for TimeCrimes is how it showcased classic styles, dilapidated themes and overused elements but presented it in a nuanced and convoluted way like no other Time Travel film I have ever seen before.