Monday, April 02, 2007

Realism? Oh, so so close...

Time Code tells a story of different people, apparently the first time someone has attempted to put four different small screens in one giant screen. Each story is filmed at the same time, without any cuts and almost purely improvisational, which gives it a more realistic feel. Plus, the actors have more room to grow and expand on the experience of their characters.

In the beginning, it is really difficult trying to figure out which of the stories one must concentrate most on, or what the connection between them is. The volume between them all is loud, as if they are all trying to speak over each other trying to grab the attention of the audience. It doesn’t help that at some points the soundtrack becomes louder than the voices of the characters themselves. It becomes a bit clearer later on as to where the audience should direct their attention to when the volume for the screen being focused on is turned higher, and the volume for the rest becomes lower, usually to the point of silence. The connection between them is clear when the first earthquake happens and everyone reacts. The audience finally realizes that each event is happening simultaneously to the other.

In the end, little importance is given to many of the players and instead the story focuses on the love triangle between Rose, her girlfriend Lauren, and her lover Alex. The climax takes place when Lauren reacts and fatally wounds Alex by shooting him with a gun. It seems like this is the point in which the film loses its realism entirely. The singer in the studio focuses her camera on him as he lies there bleeding. No one calls the police. As Lauren walks out the building, the little group of the supporting cast huddles into a giant cluster and almost comically move together backwards using baby steps, in fear that they too would become Lauren’s next victims.

The director of this film indeed took a risk in providing a different perspective to regular cinema. He attempted to provide the audience with a feeling of realism by having nothing cut and by having the actors improvise. However, the effort seemed wasted as the film reached its climax, evidently turning into a kind of parody or mockery. In fact, to an extent it felt overacted. Some of the actions performed by the characters were overly exaggerated, normally something done in a play or in a silent film. The film digresses from its purpose, the realism is lost, and you feel like you are left with a feeling of dissatisfaction.



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