It’s ‘About Time’!

AboutTimeDon’t you love-hate time-travel movies? In such movies, you will see how the protagonist gets away with almost everything that we wish we could, fixing things that he or she messed up. ‘About Time’ is such a movie. But as predictable as it is, the protagonist comes to realise he can’t change everything to his desires. Especially death. (If even death is totally transcended simply by time-travel, it all becomes way too unreal; though time-travel is already unreal.)

Given a certain frame of time, in the same setting, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) realised that even if he repeated a scenario millions of times, he can’t make his first love fall in love him. But I question the movie’s definition of love. Charlotte (Margot Robbie) is certainly eye candy, but how well did Tim know about her during her short stay at his parents’ house? Would he even show interest if she was as plain as the girl he met at the New Year Eve’s party? Sadly, not very possible.

Then came Mary (Rachel McAdams). Even though Tim could travel back in time, he could not change his history without affecting the present. Not sure if there’s a loophole here, but Tim seemed to be able to travel back several times just to get to know Mary better. Mary eventually fell for him. Why does it not work for Charlotte then? Beats me. Lack of karmic conditions perhaps, but hey, karma can be conditioned.

When Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) was dying, he kept traveling back to spend more quality time with him. And Dad, himself, could do so too. But they came to a point that they couldn’t do it anymore as Mary was about to give birth to their 3rd child. (That’s one of the time-travel rules in the movie.) It would change things drastically if they kept doing it, just as he almost changed his own life when he travelled back to help his sister. Tim and his dad realised they had to let go towards the end. They travelled back one last time to the time when Tim was a young kid and spent their most memorable moments playing on the beach.

As the film progresses, Tim slowly learned how to appreciate living life in the moment and let go of the ‘need’ to travel back again to relive each day again. I guess that is the best message any time-travel movie can portray. We mess up, we learn, we move on – that’s life. The key is to progress and not stay stuck in the past, hoping things could be different then. Things can be different if one initiates change now. We do not have to travel back in time to fix stuff; we can fix things by changing ourselves now. Neither do we need to travel back in time to appreciate our loved ones’ company if we live every moment mindfully.

I certainly hope you do not harbour the desire to travel back in time. Just take every good and unpleasant event to offer a great lesson in life. Life does not have to be so complicated. Be mindful and learn to let go of greed, hatred and delusion, and work towards generosity, loving-kindness and wisdom.

May you always be well and happy.