Futra Days Image

Futra Days

By Sumner Forbes | August 22, 2022

CINEQUEST FILM FESTIVAL 2022 REVIEW! Sci-fi is hard. In many ways, it’s one of the more thankless genres. Necessitating top-notch production values, clever scripts, and equally inventive filmmakers able to bring these outside-the-box ideas to the screen it’s not an easy task, to say the least. In Futra Days, writer-director Ryan David’s overly ambitious entry into the long and storied tradition of time travel, we are witness to a film that wants to accomplish a lot with sweeping philosophical meditations on the nature of time and consequence. Unfortunately, this effort ultimately ends up drowning the story’s most compelling aspect – the relationship at its core.

Sean (Brandon Sklenar) is a moderately successful music producer who, on a whim, meets the beautiful singer Nichole (Tania Raymonde) in a clothing store. Immediately star-struck, he embarks on a journey through time with the help of Dr. Walter (Rosanna Arquette), a pioneer in a new process for time travel, cleverly (?) coined “Lage Door,” which Francophones will point out is the same as L’Age d’Or (The Golden Age). His mission is to determine if Nichole is the one for him or if he’s wasting his time.

Of course, Sean’s ventures across time and space don’t go according to plan because he chooses to actively interfere with the lives of others, which results in issues in the space-time continuum. We’ve seen and read this before, so it’s hard not to be a little disheartened that the narrative didn’t go in a different direction. Then Sean starts to lose his sense of self, but not before we get fairly intriguing glimpses into the relationship between him and Nichole.

“…embarks on a journey through time…to determine if Nichole is the one for him…”

The couple’s romance and seeing it blossom for good and ill is the heart of Futra Days and is its most redeeming quality. Sean and Nichole’s interactions are tense, and both Raymonde and Sklenar give impressive performances, leading one to question why David didn’t trust in their relationship to anchor the story.

At this point, I need to refer back to my earlier point about sci-fi being hard because (and it pains me to say this) this film would have worked better without the genre trappings. Time travel is fascinating, and the possibilities are endless. Still, hearing whispered philosophical monologues from Sean is simply not as entertaining as this would have been as a straight relationship drama. A balance between the two is possible, and I would point readers back to the now-classic Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which had its share of high-minded concepts but was also a film that recognized its strength was in the love story.

Science fiction fans will enjoy the big ideas Futra Days brings, while fans of drama will recognize the allure of Raymonde and Sklenar. Suppose Rosanna Arquette’s Dr. Walter was available to the filmmaker. In that case, he could have gone back to the film’s inception to put the books on relativity back on the shelf and focus instead on the romance – because he’s actually really good at directing it.

Futra Days screened at the 2022 Cinequest Film Festival.

Futra Days (2022)

Directed and Written: Ryan David

Starring: Tania Raymonde, Brandon Sklenar, Jordan Christian Hearn, Rosanna Arquette, Emily McEnroe, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

Futra Days Image

"…science fiction fans will enjoy the big ideas..."

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