Timecrimes ★★★★½


Timecrimes brings to the table the well-worn genre of the time travel enigma in such an engaging, refreshing and minimalistic fashion that I was riveted throughout the experience. The plot is woven with great intricacy and Nacho Vigalondo does a great job in putting together the pieces of the puzzle in such a manner that the level of intrigue never diminishes instead it is always on rise and is left on a high in the end. The film does itself some great good by not explaining things too much as to leave the audiences with nothing to chew on. The relatively open ending and the confusion that the lead character has with the concept makes the film more accessible to the viewer. It also makes the characters on screen more relatable and easier to empathize with. This is where it is different from Primer. Primer, the outstanding film it is, chose to remain cold and distant with all the science jargon filled narrative and its decision to burrow itself deeply within the confines of exploring the time travel structure. Whereas Timerimes always concentrates on the consequences of time travel and how it has affected, is affecting, and will affect the life of the man going through it. Hence the result is an entertaining film, filled with thrills and twists that is always engaging and after finishing the film will definitely demand that great urge from the viewer to re-watch it.

Timecrimes is unravelled in a three part structure. The first act is tense, mysterious and suspenseful effusing with the feel of a horror film and sets the stage perfectly for the later sequence of events. Vigalondo’s film is stimulating and fresh essentially because of this mixing of genres which is evident in the very first half hour. Eugenio Mira’s score is chilling, effective, reminiscent of horror flicks and sets the tone for the film with great intensity and edginess. Only by the second act does the film get into the time travel concept and do the pieces begin falling into place. The third act is a perfect denouement for the events preluding it, finishing off the story with adequate intrigue, leaving the audience with questions about what, how, who and why broiling through their brains and that great temptation to watch it again in order to be derive the satisfaction (which remained elusive the first time around) of arriving at all the answers. After all isn’t this the feeling that every film and film maker wishes to induce within a viewer? Make them want to watch it again and again. Timecrimes achieves this aim with an intelligently crafted script, great editing and a very proficient performance from Karra Elejalde who with his paunchy middle aged looks was just a perfect fit for the role.

Apart from all this, Timecrimes is embedded with several quirky moments of humour which I never expected, but were perfectly ingrained with the events of the film. Another reason for the wholesome entertainment it provides and why it is a very different take on the Time Travel idea. In the end, the puzzle had been put together, but it left me desirous of wanting to dismantle it and begin from square one.

Timecrimes is a little gem of a film. A gem adorned with knotty nuances, labyrinthine details and wonderfully designed complexities. A gem whose brilliant glow sparked my brain into an Ouroborus chain of thoughts and possibilities.

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