Lee Neville’s Time Forgotten wraps up his Three Times Moving short film trilogy, revealing all the secrets regarding Adam (Lee Neville) and his strained, not-so-romantic triangle with Anna (Danielle Little) and Julie (Jane Hogan). If you’ve seen the first two films in the trilogy (and you should, though the opening recap is helpful), then you know what you’re in for. This one delivers a bit more exposition than the previous two, but it’s still a very stilted Adam trying to reconcile his feelings, or lack thereof, for the women in his life.
If you start counting with Neville’s first short film starring the character of Adam, Time Stops Moving, then it has taken four short films to get to this point. And, like that first film’s title, it doesn’t seem that Adam has really made all that much progress in the meantime.
Sure, he’s had some epiphanies in this installment that allow the audience to put all that has preceded it in the proper perspective, but in many ways it is still a lot of the same. Still a lot of slowly delivered, deathly serious dialogue; still a dour protagonist whose continuous problem seems to be an overabundance of women who want to spend time with him. Still a sparsely decorated apartment; still little time spent outside of it.
In some ways, these restrictions work if you consider the stalled growth and changes in the films as representative of Adam’s own lack of movement. He’s still wrapped up in his own head, so why would you stray too far from his home? He’s never quite reconciled his romantic feelings, or lack thereof, so of course it’s the same situation over and over again.
So thematically, I get it, but as an audience member looking to be entertained or engaged, it’s a letdown. While the three films in the trilogy add up to roughly twenty-something minutes of content, the truth is you could probably combine all three with a deft editorial hand and deliver a singular ten to fifteen minute short film, and none would be the wiser. You don’t need three films of wheel-spinning to get from Point A to Point B.
Overall, this is the best film in the trilogy, but more so because it explains everything and gives you the overall narrative to work back from, as opposed to the previous two films that seemed to be simply setting this one up (which is fine; trilogies do that). There are clever touches woven into the previous films that may have seen somewhat odd in their context, but make perfect sense in the end. However, as far as look and performance goes, all three films are very similar, to the point where it would be easy to confuse them simply by title. In the end, The Three Times Moving trilogy wasn’t for me; too joyless and melodramatic for my tastes.
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