Monday, 28 October 2013

About Time Review

About Time comes from director Richard Curtis who's last film Love Actually was a romantic comedy that featured a large cast of notable actors and actresses which makes it all the more surprising that it was not only palatable but was actually enjoyable. Likewise About time is another romantic comedy though is allowed a more focused narrative as it features a much smaller cast.

About Time starts of with the protagonist Tim describing his overly 'perfect' family life which is juxtaposed with his awkward social skills. The day after yet another new years party Tim's father played by Bill Nighy tells him the men in his family had always been able to travel back in time. Understandably Tim doesn't believe him but none the less takes his fathers advice and discovers that he indeed can travel in time and goes back to last nights new years party and 'armed' with his knowledge of event he is able to change his past with more satisfactory results. Tim then decides he would use his time travel abilities for the purpose of finding love.

Time then sets out to find love utilising his time travel abilities to no avail until he meets Mary in what is an original yet overplayed scene, where they are dinning in a completely dark restaurant with blind waiters. This of course means in their initial encounter they are unable to see one another and in a rare occurrence Time isn't awkward in the presence of Mary and doesn't need to utilise his ability to time travel to correct his mistakes. Tim of course after this meeting time travels and in error erases this encounter from ever occurring. After which Tim sets out to meet Mary again (though why he doesn't simply travel back in time again and meet Mary as he originally did is sadly not given enough attention). Most of Tim and Mary's story from here is as predictable as expected, and whilst both Domhnall Gleeson as Tim and Rachel McAdams as Mary provide for solid performances it never goes beyond what is expected from such a film with the exception of a sprinkling of humor that the time travel enables.

Where the real heart of the film comes from is the relationship between fathers and their children, or most notably between Tim and his father. This is an area whereby the film utilises the time travel aspect to great effect providing for unique and emotionally resonant scenes that otherwise would simply not be possible. It however must be said that whilst there are some exceptions, those expecting an interesting time travel story will likely be disappointed and the time travel aspects are largely used to try and breathe fresh air to provide unique twists in what is usually an overly predictable genre and for the most part it succeeds in doing so. Unfortunately there are moments where the pacing of the film does come to a stand still which doesn't suite the portions of the film they are present in, this none the less is only a minor issue in what is otherwise a film that rises well above the genre it finds itself in.

About Time is a rare example of a romantic comedy done well and features mostly strong performances, quietly amusing comedy that doesn't pander to the lowest common denominator and an excellent and interesting take an the relationship between a father and son. Hence About Time comes highly recommended.

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