Timecrimes: A movie in Three ways


Despite the film taking the least time in its setting (about one hour), we see here a journey of a man who ends up in a time-loop when his future Hector (self) assaults him. Timetravel movies, in my opinion, are really a hit-or-miss because of how easily convoluted the narrative can get on itself. Films such as Avengers: Endgame, and Back-to-the-Future accomplish this by using the scenes of one timeline sparingly, while accomplishing plenty while the characters are at one timeline. This was also done in Timecrimes, when Hector devises numerous schemes and tactics that eventually lined up with the events we viewed in the film. Rather than Timecrimes justifying its convoluted timeline for Hector, it tries to create a flowing narrative for our viewing experience. We begin to say “Ah, so that’s how it happened,” denoting on how a certain event was justified in the whole narrative. Truly, it is a movie done in three ways, where we as the audience must unpack how the curious hour-long adventure of Hector began and ended.

Starting from Hector 1, he was lounging about with his wife, when he saw a certain woman in the woods. He soon became a victim when Hector 1 was assaulted by (at the time) an unknown man. He rushes out in a panic, confused until he ended up in a vat provided by a mysterious scientist. By this point, we were following the narrative of a suspense thrill film for the sake of Hector’s safety.

When Hector 2 comes out of the Vat, realizing what must be done to repeat the events of time. Instead of being worried for Hector’s safety, we become more curious of how Hector 2 executed the story of the assailant, while following what we knew from the scenes preceding those. It was a curious display as Hector 2 tried, with great effort, to replay and recall what happened during the Hector 1 timeline so that the events follow through. This resulted in Hector’s wife dying (?)

The most shocking part was how they began to introduce Hector 3, a more tired and no non-sense character who seemed to want to get things over with. This began our shift from how we were concerned for Hector’s safety, the journey to how the events proceeded, and back to how Hector can find a way to save his wife. In the end, he managed to find some way to save his wife and get things back to normal.

Despite the extremely confusing process of Hector’s journey in time, the narrative becomes sound and the story is concise. All the scenes that preceded and followed other scenes were justified in the sense of how Hector did something to make them happen. All of the doings and events happening in the film, in some way, make up a movie – with the three of them directing a different flow to Hector’s challenge. From escaping a killer, orchestrating the attack, to finding a way to save his own wife, Hector changes faces just to remove himself from the situation he was locked in, no matter how hard and how precise that needed to be.

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