A Simple Thrill: Reflections on Timecrimes

Of all the films we have watched in class, Timecrimes has by far been the closest to how I perceive a Hollywood film would be, which made me more comfortable in watching it. However, it is also different because it is able to pull in an audience so deep into its plot that you’ll just be left with wanting more of the thrill you got watching it. As a fan of thrillers, Timecrimes was honestly one the best thriller films I have watched, close to Christopher Nolan’s Memento.

Nacho Vigalondo’s film was simple; everything we saw was ordinary, yet it did not fail in bringing us the excitement of trying to figure out what was going on in the film. It’s simplicity for me is what made it great because ordinary things turned into something surprising. And it is through these things we see in the film that we’re able to piece together a story that one cannot figure out without the guidance of the characters in the film’s complicated timeline. For example, I immediately knew that there was something odd about the woman whom Hector 2 accidentally killed on the rooftop because, while Hector 2 perceived her to be his wife, I for one knew I can’t be her because of how the framing of the scene highlighted the woman’s shoes. I knew from then on, that this woman was the woman in the forest because she was wearing the same black shoes that was also previously emphasized in a frame in the previous scenes. Purposely framed scenes like this which emphasizes little details are important, especially in thriller films that require the audience to figure out elements in the story. Yet, despite these little clues, the story of Timecrimes itself seems to fit each other perfectly, like a puzzle.

I compared this film to Memento due to its odd use of the film’s narrative. Memento, although not a sci-fi time travelling film, was able to utilize its story in such a way that would have the audience solve a mystery along with its character. Similarly, Timecrimes leaves us solving for what is really happening in the story, or rather, what really did happen. It’s also confusing at times since the story itself is stuck in an infinite loop where the cause and effect of such events comes from a single source.

I think that what makes this film all the more thrilling is the fact that it ended so perfectly, with each scene falling into place. However, we’re left to wonder, what if the characters were to make a single mistake? Would it change the entire plot? Would it create a drift in time? How would that look like in such a simply made film? Questions like these is what makes me love films such as Timecrimes, and for this I have to say it is my favorite film so far.

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