Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Primer is a very intense and confusing movie that would be best understood after multiple viewings.  The movie is about a group of friends who make some sort of computer parts in their garage as a side project from their day jobs.  Aaron and Abe decide to start a new project and keep the other two guys out of the loop.  They build a special box filled with argon and some machine parts in an effort to make materials lighter.  Instead, they discover that whatever they put inside the box ages twenty two hours in a matter of minutes.  Basically, they accidentally discovered time travel.  Abe later reveals to Aaron that he built a larger box, got inside, and sent himself forward in time.  He proved it by having Aaron look at Abe's future self through binoculars while standing next to the real Abe.  They then make a plan to go into the future, find out what stocks will go up, go back to the day before and buy shares of the stock to make easy money.  After this, the plot got really complicated and I had to consult wikipedia to make sure I knew what was happening.  After Abe's girlfriend's dad gets sick all of a sudden, Abe decides that the box is too dangerous to exist, and builds a failsafe box to go back in time and prevent any box from being built at all.  He uses the failsafe, goes back a few days, passes out, and learns that Aaron found his failsafe box and is using it as well.  Eventually, they get into a feud which leads to Aaron leaving his family and going to France, and Abe still trying to prevent the entire situation from ever happening.
          Time travel movies are usually more complicated than other sci-fi based on time travel being physically really hard to comprehend.  Primer goes the extra mile and doesn't hold the audience's hand at all through the movie, leaving the viewers to decipher the twists and  turns of the story themselves.  Add in the normal conversation dialogue, which is loaded with big math and science terms, and you find yourself still trying to figure out what happened ten minutes ago.  It is frustrating because it is so confusing, but in a way it is also refreshing not to have the plot spelled out for everyone.  Also, the way in which they discovered time travel makes this movie more realistic than most others.  They discovered it completely by accident, which is most likely how real time travel could be discovered.  Also, the aesthetics of the box and it's rules are more realistic.  They can only go a short amount of time into the future, and are possibly harming themselves in the process.  It was a nice change from the usual mad scientist in his basement, building a time machine to save his dead lady cliche.  Although the guys don't make many major moral decisions when it comes to time travel, the choices they make towards the end definitely make them look like  bad people.  Aaron abandoned his wife and kid and went to France, and Abe swore to never see him again.  That is, assuming that was the real Aaron and real Abe.  I really don't know.

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