About Time – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

about timeAbout Time – 3/5 – This is a review for a film that came out in the fall of 2013.  This was a film I wanted to see, but never got a chance to watch it till it came out on Blu-Ray/DVD.  Once I got a chance to watch it, I can say; I am mildly impressed.  This film was billed as a British comedy.  For parts of the film, you see the influence of this style felt throughout.  Even for parts of it being this style, the film becomes more of a dramatization of what life is, with a unique twist.  Overall, About Time is a film with some heartfelt moments, but because of pacing and convenient plot elements, the film never gets above average.

Premise: At the age of 21, Tim is faced with a lot of questions of what he must do in life.  What is also added on this is that he discovers he can travel in time and change things to certain choices he has made. From here, he will learn some life lessons, and become aware of what consequences happen if he makes the wrong choice in traveling back in time.

In the lead role of Tim; you have Irish actor Domhnail Gleeson.  In this role of a man searching for ‘love’; he gives us a whimsical performance, one that allows you to gravitate towards his path and purpose.  With the additional twist of being able to travel back in time, this adds a unique perspective to Tim.  That added elements gives him the ability to ‘correct’ things with ‘consequence’.  Throughout the film, you watch as his character evolves and matures with this power.  Glesson’s acting helps add a humanistic perspective, where it is important to cherish relationships and how that affects your perspective on life.  His interactions are riveting, as well as his witty dialogue will keep you on your feet.  He sheds the typical notion of a ‘folly’ main character, and adds a little more depth with his unique quips.  Opposite him, you have his ‘true love’, Mary (Rachel McAdams) and his father (Billy Nighy).   These two have a bigger influence on the story and Tim, providing both the ideal perspective of inspiration and meaningful love.  Each character, even in their supporting roles, is created through decent acting from both McAdams and Nighy.  They help create exceptional characters that stand out from the cliché roles of being the ‘true love’ and ‘father figure’.   Outside of these three, you have a few other supporting roles (family members, friends, and other acquaintances) that help flesh out the rest of the film.  These other characters help provide a ‘colorful’ perspective of London’s culture and society, but don’t do much more than that.

The direction of this film is one that follows a ‘journey’ theme.  The film begins with a relative prologue.  In this film, that prologue is the influence on the ‘purpose of life’.  Here, you see Tim is a young buck trying to find his place in the world.  After this quick introduction of Tim’s dilemma, and other important characters, we are introduced to the ‘time travel’ element.  This added element provides an infusion of uniqueness to the ‘journey’ perspective.  From here, the film progresses very quickly, as we watch as Tim comes across situations where he must decide which path is the best for him; and how that path influences his choice.  A lot of the time, these situations becomes redundant because it usually occurs as followed:

Tim is involved with a ‘supposed’ poignant moment

Choice with ‘time reversal’

Moment changes/overturns/consequences ensue

Monologue reference from Tim about how this affect (insert life perspective)

For much of these moments, Tim goes back in Tim to correct it.  You would think that this unique element would add more ‘fun’ the film.  What does happen is that it has a negative effect on the specific moment, creating a ‘hollow’ feeling towards that moment.  There are a lot of times in the film when the moments are suppose to feel important, but because of the time travel, it becomes mute at best.  What also has a negative effect is the pacing.  The film moves very quickly from scene to scene, that there isn’t enough time for emotional depth to develop for important parts of Tim’s journey.  You usually get a quick description (through interaction or some monologue from Tim), but then it just moves on to another scene.  This fragment creates a pseudo experience, where there is a ‘want’ to feel for Tim at times, but can’t because it just moves on.   Once the film get’s near the end, there are strong choices for Tim and his father to make with their gifts.  Once we hit the climax, there is a lot of ‘look back’ perspectives on each part of Tim’s life, and the film eventually ends on a cliché monologue of ‘living life to the fullest’.

The visuals of the film are very general, but the grounded aspect the camera uses helps create some related situations to feel real.  With the focus on Tim’s childhood home, London, and other social areas of English life, it stays believable throughout, even with the time travel.  The score is a very good part of the film.  The music helps add ‘some’ elements of emotional overtures, but there isn’t enough for it to have a stronger presence.

Overall, About Time is a film that has a lot of great moments, but most of the film gets overshadowed because of the generalities and quick pacing.  The acting is great from the main players of the film, and the rest of the other aspects of the films (visuals and score) have enough elements to make this film standout.  If you’re a fan of British films, I say check it out.  This isn’t really more than a rental, but it is an enjoyable film to watch with the family at home.

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