History as His Future

Nacho Vigalondo’s 2007 Spanish science-fiction time-travel thriller film, Los Cronocrimenes (Timecrimes) aimed to enhance its viewers skepticism, which it had successfully done with it’s storyline’s use of dark humor and bizarre twists. Having said that, I think it’s safe to say that the film was amusing. In watching it, one would think that the antagonist would be some delusional and mentally disabled person (especially during the scene when said person pretended to be copying Hector with his binocular). However, it’s funny to realize that said “antagonist” was Hector himself!

The storyline mainly revolves around Hector, a middle-aged man who finds himself part of a time loop, and his dilemma of stopping his other selves from continuing to exist, which consequently causes more trouble and makes him go back in time again and again – or maybe just three times.

At first, I thought it was going to be like The Cabin in the Woods, where cannibals and psychotic people reside in the woods, waiting for people to go there. As said before, this was especially supported by the scene where Hector 2, with his blood-stained bandages and knowledge of what he himself showed Hector 1 before, tried to act like a mentally-deranged person with imaginary binoculars. However, especially once Hector has been teleported a couple of hours back and when his bandage started to become pink because of blood he got from his car accident, it then started to become clear that Hector may have been behind everything. At that time, though, I thought the person who had seemingly hit his car accidentally and had caused him to have a bloody face was just a random passerby, but then another plot twist was it was really him! Essentially, he was the mastermind behind everything that happened that day – he just played himself.

Lastly, I like how the film manages to answer all of the puzzles it seemed to show at the start of the film – which is mainly answered from the actions of Hector 2 and Hector 3.  However, one thing that remains a mystery to me was why Hector went into the woods to investigate about a girl who he creepily watched getting naked in the woods. I do not know if he was being a pervert or being concerned for the woman. The film made it look like he was concerned, but why would you go to the woods to look for a woman that you had just seen naked with your binoculars? Because she suddenly disappeared? Maybe it’s confusing to me because I’m not a guy nor am I Spanish, but personally, if I saw a naked woman strip naked in the forest and then disappears, I would not go to the woods just to look for her. For me, that part made Hector look like a creep. However, I quickly forgot about that when somebody suddenly stabs him in the arm. That gave me “thriller” vibes, which I’m not really fond of because I easily get scared.

Conclusively, Timecrimes is a unique time travel thriller that maybe aims to tell its viewers that history has already been written, maybe by ourselves or, in this case, our future selves. In the film, the actions of the future ironically dictate the actions of the present, and that is why I think the film truly did deserve appraisals for its creativity.

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