Predestination (2014, 1 hr 37 mins)
TADFF Sci-fi Night’s stand out film brought us a truly different take on time travel, love and self-exploration with the must-see Predestination.
A time travelling agent on his last assignment (Ethan Hawke) must cross decades in order to foil the elusive “Fizzle Bomber”, a criminal that has decimated countless buildings and killed many. Placing himself in the ’70’s as a bartender for his investigation, he meets a mysterious writer. After hearing this weathered stranger’s bizarre life story, the agent decides to help him get revenge on a scorned love in exchange for his service as a temporal agent, taking them down a paradoxical rabbit hole of a journey.
This unique film, based on the short story “All You Zombies” by Robert A. Heinlein, and written and directed by Daybreakers creators the Spierig Brothers, doesn’t try too hard to make you understand the plot. Rather, it takes you on a winding road that will connect and reconnect in very surprising ways. It will certainly keep you riveted, and that winding road of a story is well paved and free of any extenuating obstacles to muddy the plot.
Ethan Hawke is slowly winning me over. I have never really been a fan, especially since Gattica and those saccharine romance movies, but he was impressive in this role. I saw an openness from him that really conveyed a refreshing artistic maturity. I also like the loyalty that is evident with the Spierig Brothers in terms of casting him in another one of their films which surprisingly, doesn’t get tired. And Sara Snook will surely be noticed for her excellent portrayal of the mysterious stranger and all the subtle and not so subtle changes in the character.
The production was sleek, the sets meticulous and inventive, and the costuming was amazing. Having to cross many eras and staying true to each decade was executed with great accuracy. And hats off to the makeup department. From the flawless period beauty makeup to Snook’s convincing transformation, they did an amazing job.
When screened at the festival, there was no North American release date, but it will now be in theatres as of January 2015, so go see it. I applaud the Spierig Brothers for taking on such a complex story and bringing moviegoers something different. It may take you a moment to wrap your head around it, but this futuristic film noir of sorts addresses some interesting issues about gender and power, and there is an underlying thread that actually warmed my heart of stone.