Tuesday, 22 October 2013

About Time

'Lesson Number One: All the time travelling in the world can't make someone love you'

I caught About Time a couple days ago at Showcase, it was def by far the best film I've seen in ages; poignant, positive and pretty magical... 

The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim's father tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can't change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life-so he decides to make his world a better place...by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think.

I loved everything about this film; I loved the time travel aspect, I loved the connections the characters shared, the settings (split between urban London and the beautiful Cornish coast), I loved the humour, the fact that there were a number of scenes that perfectly captured that unique British quirkiness and quiet non-showy affection. I loved the natural and very human relationship between the two main characters Tim and Mary. I loved Tim, his gawkiness, his charm, his compassionate and caring nature and his essential kindness. His was a journey I felt the viewer could truly feel part of; the journey into finding yourself through others; a journey about time. That’s what I most loved about this film, its heartening message on time, the very thing that holds life together.     

I came away from the theatre having processed one quite clear message; a message that I already knew, but sort of needed reminding of. Time is a gift. 

Time is a gift and it's up to you how you use it. In one of my favourite scenes, Tim comes to the realization that much of the time, it isn't about changing time, it isn't about time at all, rather it's about perception, and so he lives the same day over twice, he turns a bad day into a good one by just adjusting his perception of the events strung together by time. By taking control of the way he feels, he decides to focus on all the beauty and positivity the day held, instead on dwelling in apathy, on the misery and tedium of a mundane and too ordinary day. And this, I feel, is at the crux of the film; we decide how we feel about something, time doesn't.

Going back in time can offer you the opportunity to change how you react to an event, you can almost begin to make sense of it with new insights that time may shed light on, this is true enough. However, time doesn't dictate that reaction. It's more about what we do with our time, whether we work with it or against it. Because it doesn't matter how many times you go back in time, you'll still be that same person. Essentially Tim never really changes when he goes back, how he acts or reacts to an event does. In the end it's our choice whether or not we want to be positive, to see the world in a positive way, to filter experience and take away with us those things that make us better people. Good things.   

Often to act is far more difficult than to understand, for I've always understood this. As long as I remember I've held fast to this philosophy; the philosophy of seeking out beauty in the small details; to be receptive and kind, to live well and to give to others; to take both the good and the bad in your stride, to in fact, turn the bad into an opportunity to recreate yourself and yourself. 

It’s about going with time, not against it, for time isn't against us. It just is, to a degree what we perceive it to be, to the extent that it may not even exist. But if it does, if it is real and tangible to you, time can be anything you want it to be. It can be an enemy, an acquaintance, an old friend, time can be a stranger, or an estranged member of your family--- time is what you make of it. Perception however, is the thing that alters the way you view time, and existence and the rest of it.... The message of the film also sort of reminded me of an old poem I wrote.... which I think, in a way epitomises that very message. 

Vague But Beautiful

this vague life man,
it's beyond beautiful 
it's a fact man
it's irrefutable
for even the impossible 

in this world, is doable, 

if you just believe
if you just conceive
of it, so lead a life 
that's beautiful, that's full 
of all the good things
for good breeds good
so just take the time  
you just take the time
to seek it out, beauty, it's all about
it can be found in a smile 
in a supermarket aisle
or set against a sunset, 
from a high place,
from the roof of neasdon temple
 from the top of hampstead heath
beneath it all, there is beauty
just be and see, really see
the small details 
the shadows and light
everything's more than alright
when you just,