As Bizarre As It Is Profound
Quirky, off-kilter and hard to define, Time Shift is a bizarre Spanish film that manages to somehow offer little and a lot at the same time. Beginning as a light comedy, Time Share quickly descends into a nightmare fueled by paranoia, personified through the two main characters whom the film follows for its 90 minutes run time. While there are undoubtedly going to be some who may lose patience with this slow-paced drama, it’s worth persevering with for a third act that makes the wait worth it.
The story begins in the seemingly perfect tropical paradise of the Everfields resort. Settling in comfortably with his family at their spacious villa, Pedro (Luis Gerardo Méndez) works on saving his marriage with wife Eva (Cassandra Ciangherotti). A seemingly innocent mix up at the office causes Pedro to reassess his holiday plans as another family are shoe-horned in to live with them. It’s at this point the story begins to take shape.
Nestled between Pedro’s story is the equally destructive tale of Andres (Miguel Rodarte), a man whose work at the resort has been mired in grief following a messy break up with his wife.
Both tales play out parallel to one another, exploring themes of paranoia, guilt, fear and horror as the films sheds its outer shell of comedy for a far more sinister and thought provoking film. For the most part, Time Share seems content to keep people questioning right up to the end which is almost certain to frustrate some people as they struggle to piece together what’s happening. Most of the film sees large chunks of its run time made up of seemingly innocent exchanges between characters, designed to push the paranoia angle and edge these two men closer to breaking point.
On the surface, Time Share doesn’t feel or play out like a particularly good film. The plot meanders along at a pretty slow pace and it really demands a lot of patience to see it through to the final act. When you make it there though, the veil is lifted and the truth around Everfields and its inhabitants are laid bare, for better or worse. It’s at this point you end up in a somewhat reflective state, thinking about those moments beforehand that seemed bizarre or seemingly inconsequential at the time.
Visually, Time Share manages to do a great job projecting this uneasiness. The different shades regularly clash in every scene, the saturation is turned up to uncomfortable levels and all the while this under-rated little gem throws as many different colours as possible at the screen.
When you start to pick the film apart and really start analyzing this one, Time Share is a surprising deep, metaphorical film about family, capitalism, paranoia and more. It’s pretty profound too although those not interested in dissecting this film are unlikely to really gain much from Time Share.
So really it comes down to what sort of film you’re after here. Time Share is a smartly written Spanish drama that manages to bend its change genres seamlessly through the film’s run time. The characters are well written but the pacing is very slow, almost unbearably so at times. This is used to help soak in the atmosphere but also has the adverse effect of feeling unnecessarily long and dragged out. Still, in spite of its flaws, Time Share boasts an excellent third act and for that alone, the film is worth watching. If you have the patience to see it through of course.