About Time (2013)

I was going through Tumblr for photos from the About Time film when I realized that it’s all too perfect. After all the serotonin have worn off, at the end, you’ll realize that what made the story so perfect was the protagonist’s (and his father’s) ability to travel back in time. In fact, it’s so perfect that it’s almost dystopian in nature.

At the latter part, he asks his father: “we’ve had this conversation before, haven’t we?”

So really, even from the beginning, back when the father was still telling his son their secret ability, this was all already manipulative in nature.

The father says things like: “I don’t know how to tell you this.”

But really, he’s had the ability to go back in time in that same conversation over and over to make it as perfect as he wants it to be. He’s read a billion books. He’s not stupid. He has unlocked the secrets of perfect plots and characters. What stops him from creating this whole perfect story of his own?

It’s almost as if there’s a grand architect or main observer of some sort plotting everything already.

The point is, I don’t remember a single name of any of the characters except one: Mary.

In Mary, we didn’t see envy or pride or anger or any of the realities of being human. That aspect of their relationship was never really shown to us (not even when he was so frustrated about her picking what dress to wear). But was Mary ever really free to chose? Or was she under the manipulative spell of our antihero?

We saw how changes in action, words, and branding, change the reaction of Mary. We saw how the power of suggestion was tested in a controlled and infinitely replicable environment. We saw marketing in its most evil form. We saw how you can target consumers who like Kate Moss, for instance, dissect their values and beliefs, and find ways to keep them hooked on your brand or personality.

We see how much the environment can affect our choices. Doesn’t it make you wonder how free we really are? Or what “choice” really entails?

About Time is not a story about love or family. It is about an elite few, whose power is passed on by right of birth (much like a monarchy), who have control over the choices and freedoms of others.

In a quantum level though, at least from my pretentious understanding of it, according to Everett’s Many-World’s Interpretation, all these timelines do exist and, perhaps, we just had a glimpse of one of the most perfect possibilities. In a quantum level, time is so loosely defined or, actually, some aspects of it even undefined.

Maybe in some other time, yeah? Maybe in some other timeline I wasn’t so hard sell. For now, I go to a dark place, I clinch my fists, and hope for the best.


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