Saturday 12 December 2015

Film: Continuum (2013)

First of all, this Continuum is absolutely nothing to do with any other recent productions of the same name: not the Canadian TV series concerning a time-travelling police officer; nor the different TV series about a woman who wakes up in a drifting spaceship; nor the new film about gangs in the Twin Cities. To further confuse matters, this film is also known in the USA as I'll Follow You Down.

This Continuum is a Canadian film about Gabe (Rufus Sewell), a physics professor who mysteriously disappears in 2000, leaving behind Marika (Gillian Anderson), a devastated and completely baffled wife, and young son Erol. A dozen years later Erol (now Haley Joel Osment) has grown up to be a physics genius who sets out to discover what really happened to his dad – which proves to be something science-fictiony. I can't say more without spoilers, so if you like surprises and have avoided information about the film so far, you'd better stop reading now, and just note that it is serious, adult film concerning the consequences of choices that people make.


Gabe's father Sal (Victor Garber), yet another physicist, reveals to Erol that he has found evidence among the material Gabe left behind that he had invented a time machine which he had used to go back to a date in 1946 to meet Albert Einstein (this is the suspension-of-disbelief bit; swallow that and what follows is relatively sensible). Erol researches the date in old newspaper files and discovers that a body of an unidentified man had been found, killed by muggers. Could this have been his father?

Erol is able to recreate the time machine from his father's notes and plans to set off for 1946 to try to ensure that his father returns home to 2000, thereby preventing a series of tragedies. But he is torn because of the relationship he is in with the love of his life – if he changes history back to what it "should" be, will he lose her?

This is an interesting film with a simple plot and only one – in retrospect, logical – plot twist right at the end. In fact, the ending came as a surprise simply because it was so abrupt. I was not entirely convinced by the internal logic of the argument concerning different time lines, but if you are interested in exploring some of the more difficult issues which time travel could bring, then you will probably enjoy this thoughtful story.

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