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Customer Review

on 13 October 2013
This has got something of a cult following, so I thought I'd give it a try. Overall I think it's a genuinely interesting film, but I'm not sure it quite lived up to the hype.

The basic premise is that two young researcher types manage to invent a box which essentially allows them to travel back in time. It's a bit more limited than this sounds in practice as they can only go back to the point at which they switched the box "on" (i.e. they turn it on in the morning, go about their business, then hop into the box later in the day and get kicked out in the morning again). As with most time travel films it quickly gets out of hand and has numerous unforeseen consequences.

What really marks the film out as being different isn't the plot as such, but the way it's constructed. Very little effort is made to spell out the details of what's happening, it's just thrown out there in a take it or leave it fashion. In the early parts of the film most of the dialogue is just impenetrable science speak - as if you're watching hidden camera footage of some students doing an experiment. As a consequence it's quite hard to follow initially, but it's also refreshing to see a film that doesn't treat its audience like idiots.

With that said, aside from the way it's shot I didn't find it particularly revolutionary. A lot of the more exaggerated claims I'd heard about it - that it takes science seriously, is incredibly complex, is one of the smartest films ever made, etc. - are a bit over the top. It's a clever film, but it hides most of the hard science behind fairly vague dialogue and I found the ending a little bit flat.

Given the incredibly low budget used to shoot it, though, it's a remarkable achievement. It looks fantastic and apart from very occasional limp bits of acting (e.g. the retrospective voiceover doesn't work very well) it could easily pass for a standard big budget film. Well worth watching - preferably alone and with nobody to distract you.
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