Time Crimes - Movie Review
I've had the foreign film Time Crimes (or Los Cronocrímenes) sitting on my desk for just over a month now, but only (ironically enough) found the time to view it last night. As indicated by the title, the film is a blend of thriller and science fiction. The story centers around Hector, a middle-aged man who is drawn towards the woods behind his new home after catching a glimpse of a woman through his binoculars. Up to now, it sounds like a bad penthouse letter, but when Hector investigates he is stabbed in the arm by a third party, an individual whose face is wrapped in pink bandages. His escape and avoidance of the masked man leads him to the surreal discovery of a science lab not far from his home, and oddly enough, his arrival is not met with much surprise.
It's not too hard to see where certain aspects of this story are leading, yet Time Crimes knows exactly when to show each of the cards in it's hands, or even better, what cards it once held, has currently, and will hold eventually. Time travel takes a decent amount of planning, and Time Crimes manages to cover most, if not all, of it's bases.
All in all, the story functions as one cohesive paradox, a river with a circular flow that will never end, and even more discomforting, probably never begun. There's an existential dilemma underneath it's surface which bravely suggests that humans are generally willing to do what they have to in order to maintain the apparent structure of the universe. We don't act as much as we follow the instructions we were given. This is not a brave notion because of it's novelty, rather, it is brave in it's function as a catalyst for action. The audience is not given a clear explanation for why certain characters act the way they do, apart from the fact that this is how it is supposed to take place. The roles of victim, villain, and hero are all shifted for the sake of utility, yet this alone says something very haunting.
Ultimately, Time Crimes is just that, a haunting film. Within it's universe, the paradox the film creates functions beautifully and with intricate precision. As entertainment it moves along at a brisk and constantly perplexing pace.
All in all, it's one of the best foreign films, as well as science fiction films, that I've seen in a while.