Time Perspectives

Directed by Ciro Sorrentino  |  Review by Moumita Deb

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]et amidst a breath-taking Italian landscape, Time Perspectives is influenced by the Sci-fi genre to its highest intensity, doing perfect justice to its prickly originality. However, with its sometimes-distrustful grain and weird idealism, the director believes in portraying scientists not as cliched geeks or sinister corporate lackeys, but authentic, if flawed, heroes of original thought who achieve astounding things without institutional help.

Your mind might not exactly be blown, but it should get substantially interfered with by this sci-fi nightmare from newcomer Sorrentino about a young Londoner scientist running experiments with his father in a quiet Italian village, and the consequences he has been destined to face of choices he hasn’t made yet.

Though head-scratchingly baffling for an awful lot of the time, especially towards the end, it had me completely gripped like nothing else around. This is a type of movie-making that assumes its audience is intelligent adults – and it breaks lots of other Hollywood rules, too! The dialogue is indirect, obscure, technical jargon stuff. The characters do not overcome emotional obstacles; the two male leads are exceptionally well portrayed, and their invention’s success does not test their camaraderie or brewing up of conflict in a conventional manner. The narrative style is so indirect, so gnomic, that the entire plot proceeds in a dramatic zero-gravity.

As for the scientific jargon itself, it is bizarre to decipher at times, though precisely how bizarre and incomprehensible I am not qualified to judge, yet convincingly enough the director’s script might find its way into the well-read Science fiction column of a newspaper’s Life supplement. But for all its weirdness and indeed roaring assertiveness, Time Perspective is a glorious rebuke to a dumbed-down movie world in which scientific and technological investigation means looking something up on Google. It is a giant achievement for this film that you don’t laugh out loud. You whisper: “Wow.” And this deadpan effect is achieved by very plausible stunned behavior on the part of the two researchers.

The film does spread an unusual creepiness around its subject, simply by treating it as an everyday conspiracy thriller, and this pours relentlessly from the screen. Like its characters, this film is very, very ambitious. How much more interesting than the usual low-IQ product elsewhere. Watching Time perspectives is exhilarating, thought-provoking and overall an enriching experience.

A minor miracle of a film, this movie manages to pull off everything a major motion picture should have – great scripting, amazing performance, drama, etc., all well within a shoestring budget. It’s simultaneously captivating, confusing, frustrating, and in the end, completely gratifying – even if you can’t put all the pieces together on the first viewing, it’s worth a second watch.

An independent film full of nice ideas but maybe without the budget to fully realize some of their potentials. Nicely scripted, although I did find it a little too ‘wordy’ in places. Performance wise; both son and father did an excellent job. The film hangs on these two characters, and I thought they both pulled it off to an excellent standard! I found the film quite absorbing at first; there are enough mystery and an element of shock and surprise in plentiful to retain interest.

Sorrentino’s extraordinary work of broad speculation throws you into a deep ocean of techno-jargon and lets you dog-paddle or sink like a stone. After a while, you realize the water’s fine, even if you understand less than a third of what these people are saying. They do, and that hushed, locked-in intensity becomes the film’s dramatic motor.

Time Perspective eventually becomes a live-action drawing of impossible theoretical realities, and while I wish I could tell you it all makes sense, my head whirls every time I try to figure out the multi-layered mysticism in the scientific miracle endeavored to create. What’s impressive- — is that the movie’s tone skates right between coherence and an appreciation for endless assumptions of scientific inventions, even infinite possibilities. When characters start showing up in the present who could only have been affected by plot twists we’ll never know in the future; it’s as though time itself was undergoing gusts of feedback. Incidentally, this is a movie is a great way to blow people’s minds without spending a dime on special effects.

 

Moumita-Deb

Moumita is a Kolkata based independent filmmaker and film critic. She holds a post- graduation degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Reading novels of a wide range of authors of all genres from classic to contemporary has always been Moumita’s passion and calling. She also takes a strong liking in playing the Spanish guitar & has participated in quite a few concerts. Moumita has done her certification course in Cinematography, Video Editing and Filmmaking

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