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Movie Reviews

[Fantasia ’23] ‘Aporia’ review: Time machine story focuses on human element

Time to kill.

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the work being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Aporia is a Fantasia Film Festival World Premiere that takes the most common question in time travel and boils it down to a personal story about grief and acceptance. Sophie (Judy Greer, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) is coping with the loss of her husband Mal (Edi Gathegi, For All Mankind) to a drunk driver. While trying to manage a demanding job and devastated daughter, a former physicist presents her with a unique solution. She is soon faced with a difficult decision that comes with unforeseeable consequences.

Due to their intricate rules and theoretical premise, time travel stories require a lot of hand holding for the audience. There is some of that in Aporia, but it is nowhere near the level of similar movies. There are plenty of discussions about whether certain choices are right or not, but there are no warnings about meeting oneself or alternative timelines. It is very grounded and human. The plot plays out naturally leading to a more immersive watch.

The characters take center stage in Aporia. As the story escalates, the decisions become more difficult and the repercussions hit closer to home. Greer is fantastic in a role that requires a wide emotional range. From the opening, Sophie looks frazzled and is barely hanging on. This makes the times when she is truly happy stand out more.  The final emotional montage is especially powerful thanks to the care put into Sophie by Greer and writer-director Jared Moshe.

The stakes remain consistently high as the script keeps moving forward. Moments of exposition build emotion and explain character motivations. There is a sense of urgency that runs throughout Aporia. Along with the moral implications, there are questions surrounding any possible fallout.

Aporia hits hard by never having an ironic twist. It is a tale involving time, so there are scenes that are meant to catch audiences off-guard, but nothing is there to solely shock or frighten. It is an intimate look at family and love that just happens to have science-fiction elements.

The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place from July 20 – August 9. Fantasia, news, tickets, and films can be found HERE

aporia
[Fantasia ’23] ‘Aporia’ review: Time machine story focuses on human element
Aporia
Lots of science-fiction stories claim to tell a human story. 'Aporia' is an intimate tale that just happens to have sci-fi elements.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Great performance from Greer
Never talks down to or over the heads of the audience
The wilder aspects that make time travel stories so much fun are not found here
8
Good

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