The way we view time is a mortal construct. If you, too, enjoy stories that do not follow the linear flow of memories and events, then these five films are a must watch.
Uma Thurman as The Bride in Kill Bill: Volume 1
Time is not how we see it. Different films and series have tried to explain Time for what it actually is, with some really unique and resonating personal takes. But in reality, Time is neither linear nor simply hours and moments. If this is a topic that intrigues you and makes you want to explore, then do not miss these five films that employ non-linear narratives to distort and transcend the mortal notions of Time.
Kill Bill: Volume 1
This 2003 Quentin Tarantino action classic stars Uma Thurman as The Bride, a former assassin of the Deathly Vipers assassination squad. After being betrayed by her own former teammates and Bill, ex-boss cum lover cum father of her yet-unborn baby, The Bride falls into a coma from a bullet to the head. After awakening, her journey of vengeance begins as she starts killing all those who had wronged her and attempts to finish off Bill. The entire story is told via flashbacks and the film begins with a scene that chronologically occurs after the film’s climax.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This sci-fi romance is a poignant parable of heartbreak, memory, and the discomfort of forgetting. The story begins with Joel finding out that his ex-girlfriend Clementine has got a procedure done to erase him from her memories. Shattered, he decides to get the procedure done as well. Their entire relationship unfolds in Joel’s mind, as his memories of Clementine are being erased one by one, and he realizes he does not wish to forget her, despite all their fights and petty quarrels.
This 2007 romantic war drama stars James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, and Saoirse Ronan in the main roles, and is based on Ian McEwan’s titular novel. The film also employs the use of an unreliable narrator and mise en abyme techniques to give the illusion of a story being told back and forth, that too in an undependable manner as the audience cannot trust the narrator’s memory or perspective. A witty and bittersweet execution of a brilliant story, this film cannot be missed.
Gone Girl is a 2014 psychological thriller that was directed by David Fincher and based on Gillian Flynn’s novel with the same name. Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry and Carrie Coon, this story traces a complicated unravelling of the mysterious disappearance of Amy Dunne on the evening of her fifth marriage anniversary and her suspicious husband Nick. Just as the audience thinks they are getting to the core of the mystery, Fincher flips the story and begins afresh, this time with the truth.
This Christopher Nolan film was one of the blockbusters of 2020, grossing $365 million worldwide during the pandemic. It follows the Protagonist, a former CIA agent, who is recruited by a secret organization called Tenet that is tasked with figuring out and protecting the origin of objects that can be reversed and travel backwards through time. When a greedy Russian Oligarch intends to own all pieces of a machine called Algorithm that can invert the entropy of the world and destroy its past, the Protagonist must figure out how to stop him on the special date “14th”, or risk losing everything.