Marcus (Anderson William) and Eva (Gayle James) have hit a rough patch in their marriage. Eva finds Marcus to be boring, risk averse and unexciting. In an attempt to impulsively prove that this is not the case, even though Eva is nowhere around at the time, Marcus goes on an impromptu diving expedition. Unfortunately for Marcus, his decision to embrace risk ends badly.
Carl Ball’s Time was created as part of the competition to be included in The ABCs of Death feature film, and got a healthy number of positive votes. I can understand how it was embraced by those who voted for it, as the film not only has crisp look to it, but is also woven together in the edit in such a way as to reveal more to the story than just what you might be suspecting. It spurs questions, and maybe even answers a few (though I’ll admit that I had to watch it twice before I was certain of some developments). Most of all, though, it’s an entertaining four minutes of actual story (the rest of the running time being credits).
Sure, you could find the narration to be a bit lunky, particularly in the opening, and a sequence at the dinner table felt a bit too ripped out of Citizen Kane‘s aesthetic toolbox, but those were the only elements that rang slightly off for me. The diving sequences, as well as the sparse, but powerful, use of visual effects, truly help this short stand out.
It’s unfortunate that Time didn’t make it into the ABCs of Death, but that doesn’t remotely mean that the film is without merit. It stands alone as a quality short story, in this case a tragic one, and engenders enough contemplation to last beyond its running time. Perhaps doing something risky, to spite someone whose judgement is questionable already, is not the way to go.
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