'Predestination' is the perfect example of a movie that is best watched with as little knowledge as possible about it. In fact, it would even be almost better to ignore that time travel plays a key role, but of course, selling something by asking to blindly trust your word is something that is not taken. There are too many things out there pending to take a chance in this way, even if now there is the possibility of seeing it on Netflix.
After all, we have all been more than disappointed every time a movie has been sold to us as little less than a must-have gem, but with this adaptation of a short story by Robert E. Heinlein it is undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises of the past decade. And it is that it is decidedly committed to a story full of surprises, but where the human component always has a fundamental weight in everything it tells us.
'Predestination' is committed to modesty when it comes to explaining the foundations of the story and what it is that allows time travel. Here the big shots are not interested, but the particular mission undertaken by the character played by a very solvent Ethan Hawke and how this mission is complicated to totally unsuspected limits.
Therefore, after a more intense start, the Spierig brothers choose to flirt with solutions typical of film noir when it comes to raising the relationship that arises between Hawke and Sarah Snook, a currently quite popular actress thanks to the excellent series 'Succession' but that she has never been as good as here, since her character is especially demanding and she embroiders it at all times. Too bad it's not the type of performance that is usually recognized with awards.
That talk in the bar could have ended in a phase of mere exposition, but at the moment of truth it serves to bring Hawke and Snook closer so that the Spierigs calmly develop a story that starts from a dilemma that we will all have heard raised in infinity of occasions and that here it is explored until its last consequences.
Along the way, the Spierigs are dropping clues, some more direct than others, about the destination of 'Predestination', but betting on a very controlled staging work - if there is not even any effect at the time of putting time travel images into pictures - which works wonderfully to give that lean of calm to a story that could perfectly seem like complete nonsense as soon as we stop to reflect on the paradox it explores.
Fitting all the pieces together masterfully
And it is that a great success of the Spierigs is to trust absolutely in the peculiar internal logic of the story, achieving that nothing is out of tune in the technical section and that narratively it feels that everything is flowing in an inevitable direction because there is no other possible solution . And it has a lot of merit to give that feeling in a case like the one at hand.
That leads 'Predestination' to tackle a priori impossible situations with an essential calm that finds its best ally in Hawke and Snook. As I pointed out before, we are facing a film in which the human stands out above everything else, which forces both to show a wide range of emotions and to go through a constant state of transformation that requires from minimal touch-ups to much more. complex.
In this way, that initial dilemma is showing all its edges without ever losing that aura of intrigue that flies over at all times and serves as the first point of entry for one to feel curious about what is to come. Then there will be many who get away with the understandable complaint that 'Predestination' is a cheat movie, but when push comes to shove that could be said of all movies with time paradoxes.
Here you simply opt for the most difficult yet but in line with the topics that you had previously introduced. Everything is connected, giving the viewer enough space to assimilate those surprising twists in the narrative instead of entrusting everything to the sudden impact, but his boldness is such that it is hard to believe that there is someone who does not end up bewildered in some way or another.
'Predestionation' is a great puzzle that uses time travel to tell us a twisted and convoluted story, but it does so in an easy way to follow, managing to be entertaining like few others despite its slow pace and with a leading duo at the height of the requirement that such a proposal requires.