The Infinite Man (Hugh Sullivan, 2014)
I have to hand it to the writers of time travel stories, even if they are often full of plot holes. As a relatively uncreative person, I can barely comprehend the ability to create these weird paradox/infinite loop stories, just like how I can’t comprehend how dancers can learn whole ballets (and don’t even get me started on choreographers – they’re FREAKS!) You could criticise the inconsistences in The Infinite Man, but let’s face it. Time travel rarely makes sense. I don’t think it can.
Dean (Josh McConville) tries to recreate a memorable anniversary with girlfriend Lana (Hannah Marshall) but it gets screwed up when her lowlife ex-boyfriend Terry (Alex Dimitriades) shows up. As luck would have it, Dean has some weird time travel machine thingy (as you do) which enables them to start over. And over and over. Suffice to say, it gets even more screwed up. It’s almost frustrating to watch, but simultaneously quite rewarding as the pieces start to fit together.
Many interesting themes about relationships surface throughout the course of The Infinite Man, such as the lengths some people will go to for love, how much time should be invested in a relationship, and when it’s time to just bloody let go already. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite clear why Dean and Lana were in a relationship in the first place – there is no backstory and they don’t appear to have much in common. The chemistry between them is weak. I could buy that a guy like Dean would pine after a girl like Lana, but I’m not sure if I buy them as a couple.
Josh McConville amazed me here after seeing him in the Melbourne Theatre Company’s The Sublime two weeks ago, in which he plays a completely different character (although ALSO called Dean – WTF?! The loop goes on!) Who would’ve thought he could play this desperately sweet and awkward man after playing a bogan footy player caught up in a sex scandal. I think the beard made a big difference. Hannah Marshall, most well-known for her role as Retta on TV’s Packed to the Rafters, stars in her first feature film, and there’s something very beguiling about her. Alex Dimitriades will always improve a film (or television show, or play, or anything) and he made me laugh as the greasy tool in his 80s parachute jacket with stains down his t-shirt. Ah, can there be anything less attractive? And he was a smoker! JACKPOT!
The Infinite Man shares some similarities with another recent Aussie time travel film, Predestination, however that film’s local origins were mostly hidden. Though it will turn some off, The Infinite Man embraces its Australianness. The dusty landscape, the (somewhat) familiar characters, Alex Dimitriades. But with the exception of Predestination, we don’t see many local films dealing with time travel, and I for one am LOVING IT. Keep going dudes. As is the case with many good films this year, The Infinite Man is both a directorial and screenwriting feature debut, so well bloody done Hugh Sullivan.
The Infinite Man doesn’t fit into any one genre – it is comedy, romance, drama, and science-fiction all rolled into one. It is unsurprisingly a tad repetitive, but the narrative gets richer and richer as time goes on… and back? There are plenty of “aha!” moments as it all comes together, and you’ll enjoy this if you can overlook the plot holes. There’s no time for that negativity here. OR IS THERE?*
*The answer is no, there isn’t.