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‘Time Now’ review: Character driven mystery is engaging, but flawed

Not just what, but why?

Time Now follows a woman named Jenny (Elanor Lambert) who returns to Detroit after the death of her brother, Victor. Years previous, she had a falling out with her family. After meeting her brother’s friends and reacquainting herself to the the Motor City, she discovers things may not be exactly as they seem. 

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A common theme in stories is returning home. This motif can be found in comedies, horror, and in this case, a mystery. This works very well since it can be relatable for many people. This is the case with Time Now. Not only has she discovered a city that is different than the one she grew up with, she has a mother who is angry at her for not doing enough for her younger brother. 

Along with being a character study, Time Now is also a thriller-mystery. The longer Jenny is in Detroit, the more she realizes that Victor’s death may not have been an accident. The story weaves between learning more about Jenny and trying to piece together the puzzle.

This can sometimes be an issue. There are times when the pacing seems off. When things need to pick up the tension, Time Now tends to remain flat. The plot is engaging, but it often seems like there is something lacking. Oddly, it seems as if writer-director Spencer King is intentionally preventing the audience from getting to know the characters. 

By the end of Time Now, it is hard not to feel a little unsatisfied. The performances are spot on, but the film also seems to be shutting viewers out. It is not hard to understand what is going on; it is just hard to feel anything about it.

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