About Time is a classic example of one department outsmarting the other - acting, writing and direction. Archetypal Richard Curtis dishes out a flush of Rom-com with a flash of 'time travel'. At times, the film crosses paths of movies such as Groundhog Day and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you are a lover of time-travel and doesn't like to watch a Sci-Fi flick, then this one is for you. The rib-tickling elements are sharp, startling and fanciful.
The director has patented the ‘Make-a-wish-and-fulfill-it’ genre, and time and again, he’s proved his mettle in many of his previous films – Notting Hill, Love Actually. The movie About Time also carries the charm of his past outings alongside pulling off a Back to the Future like ensemble. The narration flows like a free-flowing honey and paves way for fewer complaints. But Curtis should have spent some time in explaining the rules of the game. As the ‘rule book’ gets tweaked sometimes, audience may slip into ‘confusion mode’.
Domhnall Gleeson as Tim Lake owns the film. His character is a cross-over of many ‘the-guy-next-door’ types that were seen on screen. He makes most of the moments believable and the way he flirts with Mary is to die for. Rachel McAdams as Mary is a perfect cast and her cherubic smile wins her all the laurels. Bill Nighy plays Tim’s father and the emotional scenes involving both forms the crux of the story.
Curtis must be lauded for the way he’s woven the romance between the lead pair and the way he cocooned the emotional tapestry involving the father-son relationship.
The film is visually appealing with decent production values and a strange yet interesting background score. Guleserian adds a distinct flavor to the visuals with his profuse dose of hand-held shots.
Albeit the film is riddle with some plot holes, the complications and short-comings in About Time won’t stay for long as the director dishes out a gently flavored, soothing savory blended in perfect proportions of sugar and spice. Richard Curtis engrosses you in his world of sounds and rambling stillness, and his method of sensitively weaving a magical world around the central characters is quite interesting.
In the beginning, the films starts on a note that when life gives you a 'second chance' you have to embrace it with open arms and redefine and relive that 'lost' moment. And when it moves towards the end, it takes a simple and serious tone and asks you to perfect the first outing so you never regret it, and may not ask for a 'second chance'. First is good, second is better, and when you fling back to first – it seems to be the BEST! Those are the magical words from the film.
Do yourself a favor by watching this film. It crawls under your skin and stays there, and the lessons learnt from the film stay with you for a life time. The film goes into our hearts as a beautiful, heart-warming story, and Curtis piles a brick after brick till the piece de resistance in his mystical land. He uses this as a medium to tell a linear yet non-linear story.
My favorite line from About Time - "I am a breather... I breathe for a living".
My Rating: Expectation – 7/10; Reality – 8/10view less