“About Time” is one of those films I passed up on first glance thinking it to be a fluffy bit of romance with time travel thrown in. It was only on the recommendation of a friend that I decided to give it a go after all, and I’m so glad I did. This is a wonderful movie with a heartwarming, life-affirming message.
The protagonist of the story, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), has a slightly offbeat and nerdy life that takes a sharp turn when he learns on his 21st birthday the great secret of his family: all the men can travel backwards in time to revisit decisions they have made in their lives. Being 21 and lonely, one of the first things he seeks to do with this ability is help him get a girlfriend. He soon learns that time travel might give him a chance to go back and be more suave in a given moment, but it can sometimes create even more problems than if he had not gone back; and no amount of time travel can compel someone to love him who doesn’t.
The pace of the movie seems to sag a little through an almost too happy sequence of Tim moving in with his new love, Mary; proposing to her; getting married; and having a baby, before crisis hits and Tim learns there are limits to what he can fix through the gift of time travel. This is when the movie really begins to shine.
Bill Nighy (also seen in Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) excels as the dry, compassionate father who makes the most of the time and the gift he has. Rachel McAdams, who played Clare in The Time Traveller’s Wife, revisits the theme of time travel with a winsome performance as Mary. And character actor Richard Cardery plays Uncle Desmond, as sharply dressed as he is forgetful.
By the time the movie comes to a close, Tim has learned to be fully present in each day as it comes, grateful for its gift. Without going back, he is now all the more alive in each moment. Watch the film and enjoy the insights taking shape.
Pranada Devi is a communications professional living in Toronto, Canada. She is the Managing Editor of Parvati Magazine, and serves as an advisor on marketing communications for Parvati’s various projects. Recently, she edited Parvati’s new book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie”, which has gone on to sell out its first two printing runs.