Review: Primer

Posted by: Dean Kish  //  April 9, 2005 @ 8:03am

Filed under: Reviews

What happens when you introduce a key device or concept from science-fiction into our universe?

In a small independent film made for a meager $7,000, writer, director, and star Shane Carruth brings forth a film that begins with 4 friends working away in a friend's garage as they try to put their minds together on a project that could save all their financial woes.

That is until two of the friends, Aaron and Abe (Carruth and David Sullivan), conclude that the device reduces the apparent mass of any object placed inside it by blocking its gravitational pull. Then they accidentally discover that with the device's full potential, they could have everything they have always wanted. The hardest question is what would you want if you could have anything? And if you got that, what would be the consequences of keeping it?

Primer enters deep into the psyche of every corporate-drone and cubicle-prisoner on the planet. Like other films that comment on the structure of the office world through humor or tough narrative, Primer develops a new dazzling approach by introducing the most basic of sci-fi concepts, "the time machine".

The film's low budget, quick wit, mere 77-minute running time, and intricate script allow the audience to suspend any disbelief on what "time travel" is about and makes it more about what it would be like if this kind of "fantastical" element was really introduced to two real-life office drones. Think The Outer Limits set in real-life. Please stand by!

The questions, debates, conclusion, consequences, and attention to detail make Primer probably one of most original and dazzling first films I have ever seen.

This film's 30 million dollar special effect is intelligence, and it oozes all sorts of it.

I did have a couple problems with some of the film's editing structure, and some of film's twists lost me for a second, but there is so much interesting stuff here to behold.

Given its financial constraints and wealth of intelligence, Primer is definitely a must-rent for every sci-fi and would-be sci-fi fan out there.

Tags: Primer, Shane Carruth

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