Stuck on a loop

I could not have made sense of Vigalondo’s attempt to show the repercussions of playing with time until there were multiple Hectors on screen in “Timecrimes.” The film was set in what seemed like a timeless location. The characters featured were very ordinary people, a couple, living a very ordinary life in a quaint neighborhood. That was until we see the man sat on a reclining chair with his binoculars, looking intently at a distance only to find out that there is a whole new story unfolding right before his eyes. His curiosity leads him [and us viewers along the way] to follow and trace the steps of the shadow he saw through the lenses. The narrative is a bit slow-paced for me and I felt a level of impatience as I waited to make sense of what was happening and what was going to happen. Personally, I am not a big fan of how the story unfolded not because it was objectively unappealing. It’s just that the way the narrative was laid out brought me more confusion than interest. I would normally want to see films like these through the end but I realized I ended up watching and sticking around just to see the story through.

I would give props, however, to the actors. The performances were brilliant especially for the actor who played Hector because I could clearly see the difference in the way he portrays every version of Hector. There was a Hector who was eager to learn what was really happening, a Hector that seemed to me like a creep, a Hector that had just made sense of the repercussions of one’s addictive inclination to change one’s past actions through a device/machine. They all had their own worlds and so the story did not revolve a homogenous world, at least from what I understood. I have come to develop contrasting feelings to the way the women’s characters were developed and portrayed in the film. They were showcased as weak, dependent, victims of the choices made by the male lead character. I, for example, squirmed at how easily the young lady so easily surrendered to masked Hector’s commands [although I acknowledge that it’s hard to say no when a gun is pointed at you]. She could have resisted or done something but the way she acted turned her into an accessory in the story of the guy. The operator in the tower house proved pivotal in the film. To some extent, I considered him the voice of reason in the film, albeit there were moments when I found him to be didactic. 

Technically speaking, there is nothing spectacular of “Timecrimes.” It was shot in a way that film are ideally shot, the colors and the scoring of the film corresponded to the storyline, the setting was nothing out of the ordinary, and the sci-fi part [the time travelling part] was not peculiar. Genre-wise, it came off as a thriller with a hint of sci-fi. Again, nothing new or out of the ordinary when it comes to film, but overall I do appreciate the attempt of the film to highlight how a man’s choice has its ripple effects and there is definitely no way to go but forward [otherwise, it would be chaos]. After all, “Timecrimes” dwelt okay with unpredictability. 

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