In the near future where people can travel back in time, a man who feels that his marriage is threatened slowly realizes that his worst nightmare is playing right before his very eyes. As the life he knows vanishes, he decides to do anything possible to get back the love of his life.
This movie is quite ambitious and could have succeeded in its delivery but its over-reliance on melodrama proves to be a major hindrance.
Starring Leslie Odom Jr. in the lead role, Needle in a Timestack is directed by John Ridley based on the short story of the same name by Robert Silverberg.
Odom is Nick, a man whose suspicions about his wife being taken away from him slowly begins to consume him. When a 'time shift' wipes away their entire marriage history, he is left with no choice but to attempt the seemingly impossible task of getting his partner back.
I didn't get to know about the film until a few days before its release. I stumbled upon its trailer and after watching it, decided it was worth seeing. Having seen the film, I would say that the trailer is far more interesting than the entire movie.
Adapting a literary work is a tricky affair and if as a filmmaker, if you want to do it, make sure you create something remarkably resonant.
I haven't read the story (and now that I've seen the movie, I don't plan to) but I daresay it's far better than its cinematic adaptation.
First off, the whole concept of the 'time shifts' poses a lot of questions that remain unanswered by the end of the film. They happen regularly and can potentially mess with many lives, so why the heck are they even allowed? Who allows them? Who creates them? The rich people?
I love sci-fi flicks that are believable and this one is anything but. A little background explanation before the unfolding of the plot could have helped a lot but that wasn't included. The director just expects the viewer to just catch up on everything happening.
Leslie Odom Jr. is not quite the interesting protagonist that he should be. It got to a point where I literally got tired of seeing him drown in his own misery. His acting isn't bad but the character he portrays is very unlikeable.
Cynthia Erivo is one of Hollywood's most promising stars. But like her co-star, she isn't given anything much to work with here. She is just the wife who is destined to be snatched away so as to create the conflict for the hero. There is zero chemistry between her and Odom's character.
Orlando Bloom and Freida Pinto are wasted here. They are the supporting characters I got tired of seeing way too early after they were introduced.
I could go on and on about how the film dragged and sucked in different ways but I will just bring up one more downside to it; Erivo and Pinto's characters switch between English and British accents that I didn't quite know what to make of them.
Finally, the dialogue is as boring as hell and the pacing issues made me fight to stay awake until the end credits.
I expected an endearing romance film masquerading as a sci-fi thriller. What I got was a predictably bland love story masquerading as a sci-fi flick. A missed opportunity for whoever decided to adapt this to the big screen.