Saturday, July 10, 2010

"TiMER" (2009) - Movie Review

Oona is played by Emma Caulfield with some confident sheer characterization of being an absolute insolent soul seeking terror (I might have provided a better single word but well, let us not put it out here) which gets to you immediately. But to her fairness the species we are comes as an attention seeking and approval seeking kind. It is more substantiated by the presence of a partner. That has been our instinct, our nature and the only possible purpose I could think for an existence beyond my beliefs.

“TiMER” works with a beautiful premise, an instrument to identify your soulmate. Put it on and the counter begins and zeroes out when you meet them. It comes as blanks as it has been for Oona from the age of fifteen. That means that your soulmate did not got himself/herself a timer. Her step sister Steph (Michelle Borth) has a sufficiently long timer, a really long one where she has to wait till 43 (if wiki is right in its description). She begins to live life by sleeping with random strangers with a timer. One way to have a revenge against the machine that had delayed her love life.

The premise also is definite. It has 98% of satisfied clients as they say which is darn close to be perfect. How it works is not the question but the idea to formulate this screenplay for writer/director Jac Schaeffer works well. And here is a director who is not ready to compromise and not provide a sweet journey to leave the theater with the regular churn of manufactured endings. It is content in a way though. Most of the surprises, plot points are predictable and it is out there to be cracked. The point though is to have this thought of giving yourself the slack to not be probable about you sharing your life with someone but be absolutely positive on it.

The film is not alone about the sorry situation of Oona but the people around her. While we are startled by the way Oona drags her date immediately to the Timer providing company, we learn her roots when we meet her mother (JoBeth Williams). Her mother has been a firm believer and bit of fanatic towards this invention. She rightfully placed those to her daughter and step daughter and now it is time for her son entering 9th grade and to the vicious expectation of pressure into this world of finding the partner.

For most people, when the physical need gets usual and the underlying truth of being noticed, addressed and attended surfaces, it becomes essential to have that guarantee. Timer provides that and there appears to be nothing wrong about it. It questions the free will concept but lets look at the broadened picture. When the experiment stands the test of time, it qualifies to choose the path. Obsession over it becomes the character question for Oona. She and Steph are best friends and roommates finding solace in this definite problem of indefinite disappointment. For Steph, the wait is boring though she knows it while for Oona, it is the unknown that torments her.

Within ten minutes into the story, we understand the need for her to break free and take up the decision Steph has for a while now in action. She meets a fairly young, skinny nice guy Mikey (John Patrick Amedori). Mikey has a timer with four months till he will meet his match but finds Oona attractive and “cool”. Oona takes up the one night stand and then some as they eventually and predictably fall in love. No one comes out and say it or even realize it till the moment vanishes. Strange thing about love.

I was initially disappointed when the film used background scores and soft music to provide montage of good times to show two people falling in love. Then as the film came to the juncture of deciding where to go and did the right thing, I understood the need for undermining those moments into unknown memories than to remember them for skillful dialogues.

You will not be surprised with the “TiMER” for most part. It eases into its genre quite well and becomes a living thing you come to not mind. You are ready for the disaster of the happy ending but then it arrives at it rightfully though not radically as one might think. It does not cheat its screenplay. It is not daring but seems that is how it will be when this ridiculous presumptuous system of picking your love comes into existence. Hey, at least there will be some hope for everyone. The end might not be likable but it drives you there with some curiosity. Whether it drives you mad with obsession like Oona is a different story.

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