TL;DR – A film full of charm and heart that explores time in an authentic way
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this film.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things Review –
There seems to be a renaissance in the Time Loop genre in recent times, one of those perfect intersections of art and reality. You don’t have to sell someone on the concept of the same day over and over again because that is life at the moment. While it might be the case that there are not that many stories that you can tell within this genre, today we look at a film that shows that there is still more to see in this world.
So to set the scene, were open in the morning as Mark (Kyle Allen) wakes up and begins his day. But unlike reality, every movement is perfectly timed as if he knows everything that is about to happen. Of course, this means that he does know what is about to happen because Mark is stuck in a time loop. Mark is spending his days copying Groundhog Day trying court Phoebe (Anna Mikami) when one loop something changes as Margaret (Kathryn Newton) appears, and he discovers that he is not alone.
This is one of those films where it does not look like a lot happened on the surface, but you see the hidden depth as you start to unpack it. The first place you see that is in the production. There is a smoothness to how the days have to go to show how long Mark has been in the loop. To make that work there has to be an effortlessness to everything which involves extensive rehearsal, which is emphasised by those moments when the film uses these long takes to hone in just how this world works. Every part of the production has to work together to pull these sequences off and make them look as good as they do here.
One of this film’s strengths is that there is not just one person in the time loop which gives our two leads someone to bounce off during the run time. Because they are in such different places in their lives and don’t even know it, the drama and emotion naturally flow. There is also a pain in this film that caught me off-guard, and it only works because you become invested in the characters. It is the strength of Kathryn Newton, Kyle Allen, and Jorja Fox’s acting that makes it all work and you see it across the runtime.
As someone who got a Liberal Arts degree, I’m not going to critique the maths in this film because I have no idea if it holds up or not, nor do I actually care that much in this regard. But I do want to look at the philosophical core of the film. The film plays on free will v destiny notions as they chase all the tiny perfect things of life that go unremarked by most of the world. The film also explores motivation and drive in ways that I have not seen in this genre before, which is all needed before it delves into what is time actually. What do we gain and miss by it not being one of the constants in our lives?
There are a few things that you do have to put aside when watching the film. Like the characters ability to bring that perfect information into each day or how long it would take to pull some of those things off when you only have a day, or how Henry (Jermaine Harris) would have 100% looked up an online guide. However, while those moments of oddness are there, they never take away from the film.
In the end, do we recommend The Map of Tiny Perfect Things? Yes, yes we do. This is a film that is full of charm and heart but also a sadness that it needs. It all flows together, and when that third act comes around, you are with them to the bitter end. If you liked The Map of Tiny Perfect Things I would also recommend to you Palm Springs.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
Directed by – Ian Samuels
Screenplay by – Lev Grossman
Based on – The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman
Music by – Tom Bromley
Cinematography by – Andrew Wehde
Edited by – Andrea Bottigliero
Production/Distribution Companies – FilmNation Entertainment, Weed Road Pictures, Wishmore Entertainment & Amazon Studios
Starring – Kathryn Newton, Kyle Allen, Jermaine Harris, Anna Mikami, Josh Hamilton, Cleo Fraser, Jorja Fox, Al Madrigal & Lucy
Rating – Australia: M;