Sunday, September 20, 2015

Predestination (2014)

It can be difficult to alter the sequence of events in a story.  In the case of Memento, it makes sense.  Telling the story backwards mimics the main character’s amnesia.  We get insight into the character by not knowing what came before.  I don’t always like stories told in flashback, but it works in Forest Gump.  Lost also used it to give background on the characters.  Sometimes, a linear format doesn’t really make sense.  You have to pick somewhere to start and tell the story from there.

Predestination starts with a temporal agent (played by Ethan Hawke) trying to stop a fugitive called The Fizzle Bomber.  The agent fails to apprehend the bomber, but at least mitigates the effects of one of his bombs.  He has surgery to repair his face and is reassigned.  He now works as a barkeeper.  This is how he meets The Unmarried Mother, who’s played by Sarah Snook.  Barkeep and The Unmarried Mother start talking.  She writes confession stories for a magazine.

She’s got a heck of a story of her own, which Barkeep is perfectly willing to listen to.  Not only was she put up for adoption at an early age, but she has a child of her own that was taken from her a few days after the child’s birth.  The latter ordeal really affects her, as she can’t mother a child any more and the father of the child hurt her.  It’s not all bad news, though.  Barkeep may be able to help her in more ways than one.

I don’t want to go into a lot of detail.  Explaining the plot is a slippery slope.  The more I explain, the more I have to tell to explain that.  It’s one of those mysteries that unravels itself as the story goes along. Everyone has a secret and everyone has their own perspective and context.  When you figure all of that out, the story becomes clear.  (In that regard, you have to pay attention.  It’s a lot to take in.)

The movie is based on the story All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein.  The movie seems to stay pretty close to the source material.  If you’ve read the story, there shouldn‘t be any surprises.   This isn’t to say it’s not worth watching.  I’ve always liked stories with a twisted plot.  I enjoy waiting for the next piece to fall into place.

I’m not sure if it’s that I knew the story coming in, but the movie seemed well paced.  It wasn’t rushed and I wasn’t overly eager to find out what happened next.  There were a few aspects that seemed odd, but not to the point of being confusing or contradictory.  For instance, the Unmarried Mother had applied to be in a space program.  I don‘t recall such a program existing, but it wasn‘t distracting.  Overall, it was a great movie. 

Official Site

IMDb page

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