I’m starting a new trend. It involves avoiding the trailer and synopsis of a film I’m going to see, thus rendering me completely unaware of what’s in store. I take it to such an extreme that, believe it or not, I didn’t even know this film featured time travel…(boy was that a bit of a shock!)
Judging by the poor poster (which, sadly, I couldn’t avoid) I expected a stock standard romance flick; Dorky ginger meets smiley girl blah blah blah. But the reality is quite different.
ABOUT TIME follows the loveable, love-obsessed loser Tim who, at 21, inherits an unusual family tradition: The ability to travel through time. Unlike most time travel scenarios, Tim’s ability is highly intimate. He can only travel along his own personal, existing timeline. In a nutshell, he can revisit his past experiences.
It’s a welcome twist on the time travel concept, allowing the film to stay grounded in a welcome simplicity. We don’t get caught up in momentous historical equations or get overly bogged down in the consequences of the butterfly effect: This film is not about that. It’s about choices, and living in the moment.
At two hours in length, ABOUT TIME would be overlong as a romance flick, but is saved by the unexpected change of genre for the final act. What begins as a cute (albeit somewhat left of centre) boy-meets-girls flick, suddenly transforms into an exploration of family, with a centre on the binding relationship of father and son.
Whilst the sprawling plot, which spans almost a decade, will not be everyone’s cup of tea, I found the final act the most profound (though it did try a little too hard in it’s concluding chapters, driving it’s message home harder than a political campaign TV advert).
Any time travel storyline is susceptible to plot holes, and this is no exception. Though they are hardly glaring, and easily forgivable.
Whilst thoroughly underwhelmed by Domhnall Gleeson’s performance in HARRY POTTER, he was highly enjoyable in this role.
Rachel McAdams is as adorable as always. I swear that girl oozes universal pheromones as I’ve yet to see her in a film where she lacks chemistry with her leading man. Her and Gleeson make a lovely on screen couple (and I don’t usually dig the American/English combo).
Bill Nighy is a true highlight; But when is he not?! Same old, same old hey? Tom Hollander also pops his head in now and then, staying just long enough to steal a scene.
The soundtrack is a real standout with unusual, but highly appropriate, song choices. The slight indie feel of the tuneage assists in bumping the film up from mainstream fodder to what could even be considered a slightly artistic endeavour….
It appears as though there were some attempts at creative camera work too…not always successful I’ll admit (they invented a steadicam for a reason people!).
There’s a real British film feel to this movie, celebrating everyday aspects of English life: tea and biscuits, tennis, the tube, gingers, a rainy wedding… it certainly adds a warm and fuzzy element for those viewers familiar with such lifestyles. Admittedly some of the warmth could be lost to those outside of Her Majesty’s reach.
I do enjoy a bit of time travel. I enjoy tea and a biscuit. I enjoy Bill Nighy. I enjoy Rachel McAdams…. and I thoroughly enjoyed this film.
Simple, funny, heart warming and, in parts, beautiful, ABOUT TIME explores relationships and the ever important need to live for the moment. I left feeling warm and fuzzy…and craving tea and biscuits.
I award it 7 stars