Sunday, April 26, 2009

Timecrimes: Grade C

Time Crimes (2007)
Karra Elejalde, Bárbara Goenaga; Writer and director Nacho Vigalondo. (Spanish, subtitled).

Hector1, a perfectly ordinary middle class guy (Elejalde) is sitting in his back yard with his wife when he spots a naked woman in the nearby woods. He goes to investigate and is attacked by a scary guy with his head wrapped in blood-soaked bandages. Terrified, Hector1 runs, stumbling into a nearby scientific laboratory where a technician urges him to hide in a big vat of milk. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it is just barely believable, so we go with it. Well, what do you know but that big vat of milk is actually a time machine! It’s a terrific realization of a time machine. Why do we always assume such a machine would involve complicated electronics, sparks and electric motor noises? The vat of milk sends Hector1 back in time, but only an hour. He emerges from the vat as Hector2, confused, and walks back through the woods to spy Hector 1 sitting in his lawn chair with his wife, an hour ago. Hector2 is enraged that this “other fellow” has appropriated his wife, and vows to kill him. The scientist explains that the other fellow is himself, but Hector2 doesn’t get it. Presumably, if he did kill Hector1, he, himself (Hector2) would cease to exist. Hector2 then inadvertently gets into a car accident, cuts his head, which he wraps with bandages. A buxom young woman comes to his aid. Needless to say, she will end up naked in the woods where Hector1 will see her. The plot convolutes further until a Hector3 emerges from the time machine! I was unable to keep the time travel paradoxes sorted out, and it seemed like a lot of illogical nonsense to me. Maybe my mind is just too inflexible. I would have preferred more insight into the characters’ thinking, rather than just watching their strange behavior. But the story has a neat idea and the movie is amusing enough.

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