BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
NOVEMBER 13, 2013
“About Time” is sweet and simple. Its simplicity comes from being a film about time travel that never explains the back story but simply defines its premise and locks it in from the start. We never know what the power holds and we learn as we go. We accept that our main character can travel through time and we take that at face value. Additionally, the characters are simple. Tim Lake (played by Domhnall Gleeson) is transparent. He loves his family and he states that his power to time travel will always be about love. When he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), this is solidified. Mary is also simple. She falls for Tim just as he does for her. She is happy for most of the film and their relationship just works, with hardly any hiccups. Yes, this can be explained by Tim’s ability to fix most fights, but without being privy to that or any fights, this simply comes off as a perfect couple.
“About Time” hits an emotional tone with both elation and tears. With authentic moments, this film brings up the idea of being able to change the bad things in our lives by traveling back in time. Even with that power, the characters still experience moments that could be considered bad, like a windy, rainy wedding day that destroys party tents. However, there’s a sweetness in those moments where they wouldn’t want to change a thing. You feel for these characters and the situations they are placed in, whether it be a car accident or pregnancy or a funeral. The emotional turmoil placed on these characters as well as the audience must be applauded as most of the people in my screening were in tears by the end.
Domhnall Gleeson plays the nerdy British guy with such endearing qualities that you cannot help but root for him. Rachel McAdams is also sweet. She embodies this role with perfection. Despite the great chemistry they share, my favorite relationship is one between Tom and his father, played brilliantly by Bill Nighy. There’s such a strong connection between them. Evoking some of the most emotional parts of the film, these two steal the show. You eventually realize this film is actually about their journey. Nighy brings this film to an entirely new level of appreciation. With a strong showing from the superb cast and just enough emotions to get you to feel something, “About Time” does exactly what it sets out to do, bringing a touch of science fiction to what would otherwise be a routine love story.
November 1, 2013
(for language and some sexual content)
Nicky Kentish Barnes