Time-travelling has been a fascinating theme for aspiring screenwriters, attempting to depict how the world would look like in the future, how a minor event could endanger your existence. You can think of Terminator (1984), where a killing machine is sent to the past to kill the mother of the resistance leader. When it comes to time-travelling, you can think of the Delorean, the iconic car from Back to The Future Trilogy (1985 1989 1990).
TV Show like Quantum Leap (1989) also depicts time-travelling by encompassing the notion of the string theory, whereby a the traveler can only travel in time from the moment he was born until his death.
When it comes to literary, Future Times Three (1944) by René Barjavel, where young scientist jeopardizes his existence by altering the past.
In a nutshell, time travelling was the cash-cow for Hollywood filmmakers in the 80s, 90s and early 2000.
However, sometimes, you don’t need all these fancy multi-million movies, or lot of CGI to create a good time-travelling movie. Sometimes you all need is a crazy scientist, a sexy woman alone in the forest riding a bicycle and a lazy everyday man. The Spanish director/writer Nacho Vigalondo and Karra Elejalde star in this wickedly dense serio-comedy Timecrimes.
In this multi-part article, I will start the first part with the storyline of Timecrimes. (WARNING SPOILER AHEAD)
As far the plot is concerned, Timecrimes tells the tale of an everyday man named Hector whose lazy afternoon turns into a nightmarish time paradox. Hector moves with his wife Clara to their new house located in an awe inspiring Spanish countryside, filled with green grasses, labyrinthine roadsides, thick forests and unbeknownst to Hector, a scientific silo where strange experiments are happening.
That afternoon, while relaxing, Hector notices through his binocular, a woman undressing herself among the bushes. He goes to investigate and finds the woman naked and unconscious. His voyeurism would prove near-lethal as he is attacked by a pink bandaged man who stabs Hector with a pair of scissors. Hector flees the attacker and stumbles upon a remote science laboratory in the woods at the back of his house. There Hector meets a lonely scientist , urging him to hide in a basin filled with an unknown liquid. The scientists operates the switch and Hector is…sent back in time, one hour exactly.
The scientist explains to Hector that he has just traveled back in time and now his is Hector 2. Across his binocular, Hector 2 sees himself (an early version called Hector 1) with his wife relaxing in their new home’s backyard. The scientist tells Hector 2 not to interfere with Hector 1 so that he can deal with Hector 1 within the time loop.
Hector 2 is jealous that his wife is with “a different man” and so attempts to get home but is involved in a road accident and is forced to bandage his head. Realizing that the bandaged maniac was himself from earlier, and keen to avoid changing things as the scientist warned, Hector 2 acts to reproduce events according to his memories of how they unfolded in the past. After the car accident, Hector 2 forces the young woman who came to his assistance to enter into the forest with him, and undress to lure in Hector 1. Looking through his binoculars, Hector 2 is jealous of the caresses she is giving Hector 1, and so demands the girl removes more clothing to draw in Hector 1. The girl subdues him runs away and appears dead after falling down a slope, Hector 2 places her body for Hector 1 to see, before scaring him into fleeing to the science lab. Hector 2 then returns home only to witness his wife plummet to her death from the roof of their house.
Hector 2 realizes he is responsible for much of what took place during that timeline and so seeks to change events. Attempting to prevent his wife’s death from happening, Hector 2 drives to the lab and insists to be sent back again, only for the scientist to tell him that Hector 3 has already contacted him and said that his attempt failed and to stop Hector 2 from using the time tank again. Desperate, Hector 2 demands the scientist sends him back anyway.
In the final part, Hector 3 discovers that he can’t change events, and everything plays out according to his memories of things. Hector 3 then takes the scientist’s truck and rams Hector 2 to ensure he has puts on a bandage and goes after Hector 1. Hector 3 likewise is injured in the car accident, and coming upon the young girl fleeing from Hector 2 convinces he, too, is trying to escape from the bandaged man. Later on they return to his house, and Hector 3 locks his wife in a room, and gives the frightened woman his wife’s haircut and coat to look like the woman he saw fallen from the roof and assumed to be his dead wife. Trying to escape, she runs into a bandaged Hector 2 going up the stairs and running away falls from the roof and dies. Hector 3 then stays with his wife, while Hector2 drives away with the police now on their way. In this way, Hector 3 manages to change the facts by altering his recollection of what he thought he saw, so as to save the life of his wife and a commits a crime against an innocent woman in time.
A crime in time. A TimeCrime.
To be continued in Part II