Sunday, November 30, 2014

Predestination (2014)

Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Writers:    Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig, Robert A, Heinlein
Cast:         Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor

The life of a time-travelling Temporal agent. On his final assignment, he must pursue one criminal that has eluded him throughout time.

It is another one of those thrillers with time travel as theme with a twist of Inception thrown in. To pick holes in its plot is a futile exercise since time travel films are anyway rife with 'Bootstrap Paradox'. So best way to judge the film will be whether you were immersed in it throughout and whether you want to watch it again. It did both of those for me and therefore I reckon it is a great film. The cast is great and the directors who are known as 'The Spierig Brothers' look promising. It is another good Australian film in an year which looks like a great one for Aussie Cinema. 

Let me see if I have got a hang of the plot. If you are planning to watch it, I would recommend so, don't read ahead. We learn over the course of the film that time travel was invented by an organization in 1981 and you can travel 53 years on either side of the year zero, 1981. It is used to send Temporal agents to the past in order prevent crimes and Ethan Hawke is one of those. There is a a terrorist called Fizzle Bomber on the loose in late 60s and early 70s with his biggest operation happening in 1975. Ethan Hawke is assigned to do prevent the fizzle bomber. First scene of the film has someone getting burned while handling the bomb and someone else is also intervening on the proceeding and the bomb goes off. My initial impression was that the man who got burned was the agent and he is given facial reconstructive surgery. Then it cuts to Ethan Hawke who is given another go and he goes back to 1970 as a bartender and meets a writer who tells him his/her life story. After the story is over Hawke prompts him to join the organization and before that he takes him back to 1963 where he meets his past, which is a she, and proceed to have sex with her conceiving a baby. The baby is stolen by Ethan Hawke who goes back to 1945 and put it in the orphanage and it grows up to be the girl from 1963. So far- the writer, the girl and the baby are same people. So the writer fucks with himself/herself giving birth to herself/himself who is taken back to continue the cycle. Then Ethan Hawke makes one more attempt at stopping the bomber and it turns out that the burned man was indeed the bomber (first scene). He again goes back in time and reaches 1975 where his time travel machine was supposed to decommission, and it does not, and he pieces together clues to find out that the bomber is another older version of him and he kills him. It turns out that the writer, girl, baby, Ethan Hawke and bomber are all one and the same. I don't know whether it made any sense to you but the million dollar question is what is the purpose of all this and whether there was any real fuck ups they are trying to fix. At the end of it, what exactly he is trying to fix is not clear. Maybe the girl is fucked by different versions of herself and the point of the story is whether she ends up bitter after it. Since the bomber had long hair, Ethan Hawke must have thought it was she who was the bomber but in fact it was another version of him. But that doesn't make any sense since she is anyway gonna have sex change operation. It is a clusterfuck. I know what happened in the sense that all of them are the same person but the motivations are not clear. I guess I will watch it again but I don't think all of it will become clear. Maybe it was just a cerebral experience in terms of figuring out the plot and nothing much more to it.

Film is based on Robert A. Heinlein's short story "—All You Zombies—".To sum up it is great watch, rehashing the Looper theme but it goes several iterations further. Cast is great but I don't know whether it will remain great on further viewings. Whether you enjoy it or not will very much depend on how arsed you are about plot making any sense. 

Rating: 4.5/5