Timecrimes (Spanish: Los Cronocrimenes) is a 2007 science fiction film directed by Nacho Vialondo. The film garnered positive reviews from viewing audience as well as critics. The film was so well received that Dreamworks is currently working on an American adaptation of the film.
The reason that I decided to watch this film in the first place was off of the recommendation of one of my friends. And the reason that I am deciding to review it now is because I thought that it would be an interesting topic for discussion.
The story begins with a middle-aged man named Hector and his wife, sitting out on the lawn. His wife departs, and while looking through binoculars at the forest behind his house, a flicker of light flashes before him. There is a female undressing. Hector, being the sly devil that he is, looking to woo her with his charms, either that or because he’s a pervert, tries to get a closer look at her.
He heads deep into the forest upon being stabbed my a mysterious man wearing pink bandaging on his face. While fleeing, Hector comes in-contact with a scientist that saves him by letting him hide inside of a time-machine. Of course, something goes haywire and thus creates the time-loop that the story revolves around.
I may have made the movie’s premise come across as a little sillier than what it actually was. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s silly, but it actually works quite well. The story isn’t anything that I haven’t seen before. There are ideas that have been touched on with a lot of other films, however, I think this film may very well be the most outlandish and elaborate with the storytelling device.
Watching a story about a continuous time-loop done well is like watching a Rube Goldberg Machine, in that, it’s just fun to watch how they get from point A to point B. I went into the movie expecting for my mind to be blown, although, that really isn’t what the movie went onto accomplish.
The film is self-aware of its own incoherence, and director, Vigalondo goes out of his way to disguise the inconsistencies with fast-paced cinematography. I didn’t find myself being bored at all throughout the movie simply because there was always something going on.
This, at least in my opinion, is an example of a film that is better while watching than it is after you are able to digest what you are seeing on the screen. It is entertaining without question, but I have to wonder what I would have felt had it given time for all of the things to sink in as they were happening.
The cinematography and style of the movie is extraordinary whenever you consider the budget that they had for this movie which had to be somewhere South the approximate value of seven dollars.
A lot of this has to be credited to the forest-setting of the movie, which at first with the masked-man running around with scissors, gives off a classic slasher flick kind-of feeling. Then, there’s the acting of this movie, which I don’t really have any strong thoughts on. All of the supporting cast went through the motions well and good without anything that would have had me jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch, but I have mixed feelings about the protagonist.
I found for the portrayal of Hector’s character to be kind-of iffy, in that, at first, he seems to be entirely deadpan about the situations that are happening. I suppose you could defend this by saying that the character is supposed to be in-shock, however, that’s not really how it comes across to me. There are actors who do this very often, where they act without much enthusiasm, but for some reason, it works for them, and it feels like that’s actually how that particular person would react in said situation. However, the protagonist in this movie doesn’t show any facial-reactions whatsoever to the situation. He’ll drop to a seated position, presumably stunned, but I can only assume that he’s stunned because I am not entirely sure.
This is at the start of the movie, but by the end of the movie, the performance actually seems to come together. I don’t know whether or not it’s an actual change, or if the acting finally fits the scene, but I suddenly began feeling like I could sense the distress in the character. Similar to 1408 when Mike Enslin understands the situation before him and sits to have a smoke.
In conclusion, when it comes down to it, the movie’s story is one that isn’t insanely original, and the parts of originality that it does have are pulled-down by how ridiculous they are. You’ll have a lot of questions regarding the movie that won’t be answered. All the same, I found myself entertained from start to finish, and I think that it was a deeply entertaining film that is well-worth your time.