by Valerie Thompson
Time travel has always been a popular topic for sci-fi. From Verne’s time machine to Doc Brown’s DeLorean, there’s something about dealing with the past and glimpsing an uncertain future that keeps audiences enthralled. Not every title finds its way among an already crowded marketplace, that’s why “Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes” lands as such a pleasant surprise. The film centers around a man, Kato, who feels his life is hitting a wall. Everything changes when he is faced with a TV screen featuring a familiar face — his own. He’s then tasked with understanding time itself as he and a group of those close to him navigate an array of challenging circumstances.
‘Infinite’ chooses a very relatable method for its time manipulation, focusing on TV screens over surreal devices or machines, The screens are something everyone can find in their own lives and connect to just as Kato does. While they may be dealing with the movement of time, leaving the details to electronics easily found in the real world establishes a connection that goes beyond fantasy constructs. It also makes it easy to navigate a closed setting in which the entire story takes place.
A concentrated story structure makes this an easy to follow narrative. Instead of introducing complicated details that could confuse casual viewers, screenwriter Makoto Ueda relishes in keeping it simple. The script looks at character development among a rapidly changing set of circumstances. Details are relegated to a need to know basis in lieu of piling on unnecessary bits along the way.
It also helps that the cast mostly consists of Europe Kikaku members; the Japanese theater company brings a knowledge of live events and fast-paced changes that give the film its snapping pace. Their ability to move with the added narrative layers while also keeping up with even the slightest of alternatives is crucial to ensuring this works. The cast members make ‘Infinite’ look effortless thereby creating a cinematic experience which asks you to watch without delving into the little details.