Timecrimes is one of my favorites from the films we have watched in class so far. It’s well-paced, elaborate, and generally enjoyable. Time travel films really aren’t my thing because they open up a lot of questions in my head, or are usually filled with holes. For example, Donnie Darko was a really difficult watch for me because it was confusing, and it left me with a lot of unanswered queries whose answers I had to look up on the Internet. However, the film departs from this vagueness, and delivered a more comprehensible time travel thriller.
The appeal of Timecrimes lies in its patient storytelling, which led to the multiple timelines part of the story being pulled off successfully. Vigalondo painstakingly untangles the mystery presented to us at the beginning of the film and presents the many layers behind the peculiar events that were occurring. Similar to Trollhunter, the attention to detail was impeccable, and it was vital to the unfolding of the narrative. The props for each scene in the movie such as the binoculars, the scissors, and the walky-talky all found a place in the narrative being woven by the time loop that Hector found himself in. This also helped facilitate a better understanding of the sequence of events. I also really enjoyed the emplotment of the narrative i.e. the retelling of the same narrative over and over again, with the subsequent retelling revealing more details and adding depth to the previous one. It also really helped that the different iterations of Hector were given distinct names which facilitated an easier digestion of the narrative. What I enjoyed about the movie is that it appeared as if the characters participated actively in our attempt to understand what is going on, unlike other time travel movies which leave it up to the viewers to make sense of the narrative. However, it achieves this without spoon-feeding it to the viewers, still retaining the thrill of piecing together all the components in the puzzle.
If I were to say something negative about the movie, it would be about my feelings about the main character, Hector. I never really liked him throughout the duration of the film. Hector 1 for example seemed a little off to me because of the actions that he chose to do. Who in the right mind would go to a forest after having seen, with their pair of binoculars, a woman undress? The fact that he’s been staring while the woman undressed is a little creepy as well. He also seemed exceedingly trusting, especially in the scene where the scientist was leading him to the silo. I realize now that he needed to do these things in order to drive the plot, but still I found his choices extremely questionable. I also did not enjoy the woman (who remained nameless throughout the movie despite suffering the most among all of the characters) being used merely as a plot device. I genuinely felt that she deserved better than that, especially after knowing that her involvement in the plot was due to the fact that she sought to help Hector 2 who was involved in a car crash. Nonetheless, the film was a great watch, and is my favorite time travel film so far.