Do you have time for watching a sci-fi movie that does not include exploding cars or aliens or ultra-modern science theory that no one ever heard off? If you are looking for a pure ingenious idea that will blow your mind into pieces then Primer is the best that anyone could prescribe you. A very low budget movie (only 7000$), where one single man has written, directed, composed music and produced as well as starred in the film, but you would not feel any lacking from other big budget movies. Primer is a very intense, thrilling, ingenious picture which is a must see for all sci-fi and mystery lovers.
Having said all of these, Primer has lots of philosophical impressions and many complex technical dialogues which one may not comprehend at once. The producer, writer, director and star, Shane Carruth, decided not to simplify the idea. It may take some time, but like everyone else, you will find the time spent is worthwhile.
Shane Carruth worked as a software engineer after graduated in Mathematics. He utilised his knowledge in this movie, and even he had to study physics to make the idea authentic.
The story is about four engineers: Aaron, Abe, Robert, Phillip – who works together part-time to run a side business at Aaron’s garage. While experimenting for a technology to which would reduce the gravitational effect over an object, they found their machine does something different too, it does ‘time travel’ in a way.
The next part may contain some spoiler, but this would help to understand the movie at the first go too.
The person who wants to time travel activates the delayed switch and hides himself so that he does not encounter his double. For example, he has decided to enter the time machine at 12:00 PM, and he has taken a six hour cycle – where he and his future will both exist in the same timeline.
So if he goes into the time machine at 12:00PM at comes back at 06:00 AM, which means now there are two selves of one person: one who is original in this time line and one who has come from the future. When the original self will exit the timeline, the double that has come back from future will be the sole existence of the personality. As the double has knowledge of happening till 12:00PM, he can influence in stock-market or other bidding houses.
In the movie, Aaron and Abe began to travel back in the time and started to earn money, but there were other incidents, such as a crusher in the party – raised the question of their friendship as well as the safety concern. At one point Abe tried to stop the loop by preventing his past self form using the machine. A very well written series of events will definitely call the nerve of the viewer.
The movie is not only about a scientific theory; it also shows how the absence of morality would cause catastrophe – especially when power and technology is in the hands of wrong scientists.
Shane Carruth tried and succeeded to portray the scientific invention in a realistic manner. Low budget pushed him to be creative. In the end, the movie grossed $424,760 at the box offices. DVD realises became popular too. The film collected the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004. Shane is working on his next work, A Topiary.
Anyone who loves new idea, loves to get puzzled over something or to discuss science theory – Primer is a must see. Rotten Tomatoo has listed the movie as one of the best science fiction films "for the thinking man."
At a glance:
Release date: October 8, 2004 (initial release)
Director: Shane Carruth
Running time: 79 minutes
DVD release date: April 5, 2005
Budget: US$ 7,000
Cast: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya, Chip Carruth and More