What would you do if you could start everything anew?

Would you do something differently from what you have done? Most of us would answer that they would act in every single moment just the same way they already did. The film makers of Predestination show us what it would be like if we got the chance. The film begins with the advice that we should start talking to ourselves. It is logical, because who knows more about you than yourself? Talk about your past, present and future. And when you are done talking you will see that you will stick to your words. Not because you chose to do so, arguing that your life is wonderful. No. The reason is that events in time cannot be changed, at least in Predestination.

Overall this is what Predestination is all about, a lot of answers to a lot of unanswerable questions in the style of which comes first, chicken or egg. The film is a science fiction thriller by Michael and Peter Spierig (Mama). It is based on the short story “All you Zombies” by Robert Heinlein. Predestination is a story of a person who has to go through a lot of life changing moments. Situations the spectators cannot even imagine being in. Growing up in an orphanage and being bullied at a young age seems almost harmless in contrast to things like a forced gender changing operation, a stolen baby or a facial reconstruction. All of these things happen in Predestination and much more as the spectators will see because the main character lets the spectators participate in his or her whole life story.

Features like background music or appropriate scenery were very well chosen in Predestination. There were only few action scenes with fast camera movements because the film’s focus lies more on long dialogues with many close ups to the facial expressions of the characters Ethan Hawke (Training day), who plays the barkeeper/ time agent and Sarah Snook, who plays the role of John author of the magazine the “unmarried mother” and who once in a while steals the show from the better-known Hawke due to his very good acting, especially at the bar scene (picture below). Interestingly, when you have a first look on the person sitting on the bar you can see that this is a woman. Someone who has seen Brienne of Tart from Game of thrones cannot be challenged by that image. At the moment the spectators get to know that the person’s name is John, the felling grows that something is wrong. From that moment you will be even more focused to solve the mystery.

It is always a good idea to watch a film until the very end, but it is absolutely necessary to watch every second of Predestination. Sometimes it does not seem necessary because a lot of filmsnowadays seem more or less completely predictable because they follow a certain scheme according to their genre. For example, there are the romantic films. Girl meets boy, they fall for each other, are happy and then there is the big trouble which ends their love. But do not worry! In the end they live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, Predestination is predictable too, but not in this way. There is no scheme in this film but a plan with only one logical outcome. Only the attentive and quick mind can assume the ongoing plotof the film. The spectators will certainly be reminded of Inception because of the toing and froing. It was both, irritating and interesting at once. You start to think about it and you begin to seek for mistakes and certainly you will find them all the more if you watch the film a second time. This is what I warmly recommend to everyone who liked Predestination. Watch it again because only then you will notice all the hidden hints which the Spierig brothers placed into almost every scene.

Angelique Konrad

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