Saturday, August 27, 2005

Film — Primer

An interesting low key (and low budget!) time-travel movie, realistically handled as two guys in a start-up tinker in their garage and produce closed causal loops by accident. The dialogue is fragmented and intercut just like real speech, and the low budget ensures that everything else is similarly free from spurious polish.

Alas, the film disintegrates in the last twenty minutes or so; when they get distracted from their get-rich-quietly policy; the model used for the time travelling unravels as scenes replay with later versions of the characters in them, and dramatically irrelevant side-effects (bleeding from ears, broken handwriting) are mentioned and discarded. And then it ends.

[Later] — I saw the trailer to the film, which is actually very classy — asking the question “What is really wanted?”, working up the pyramid of needs — Food and shelter? Done. Wife and family? Done. Money? Done. … — everything is checked out until finally “What is really wanted? — To repair it all.” A very good answer. What a pity the film didn't quite convey that.

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