‘Predestination’: a time travel gem on Netflix that drinks from a classic of science fiction literature
The problem with this movie is that we can’t even tell you which sci-fi classic he’s adapting to because we’d ruin the movie. This production that arrived in Spain in the domestic format a few years ago just landed on Netflix, so perhaps the best thing to do is check it out before reading more, and if you return, face our criticisms see, which has moderate spoilers.
In fact, there will be those who say the time travel theme detail is already a spoiler, but we’ve allowed ourselves to slide it around as an aperitif because ‘Predestination’ thoroughly squeezes the premise and goes much further. And he does it like a good literary science fiction story would: examine all the hypotheses and connotations that have some of the strangest paradoxes of this subgenre. Much more than the butterfly effect or making your parents fall in love so they can have you.
The story he is inspired by is ‘All of you zombies’, a handful of page thumbnails of the great Robert Heinlein (known to the general public as the author of the original ‘Starship Troopers’ novel). In fact, Heinlein is revered throughout the film, and other of his books appear, such as ‘A Stranger in a Strange Land’. While the best nod in the movie is, “ I’m My Own Grandpa, ” Lonzo and Oscar’s new 1947 song is inspired by a humorous Mark Twain article that shows it was possible (though unlikely) that someone became a grandfather of him.
In any case, ‘Predestination’ takes the core of Heinlein’s story, arguably the most twisted time travel story ever written, and turns it into a theoretical thriller about the fourth dimension, borrowed from films like ‘Looper’ or ‘Memento’, but it plays in much more cerebral competition. Almost the whole plot is an immense mystery that two strangers tell each other in a bar.
And the Spierigs compensate for this artificiality in the best possible way, being completely honest in the narration: the interpretations, the simplicity of the staging -which makes it exciting and close to see just two people talking in a bar- and the crumbs They leave in the form of small gifts and clues (for example, the ‘Memento’ style notes, which are quotes from Heinlein’s story) help to decipher the film at a progressive rate, without being carried away by the temptation to play all the cards at a “final surprise”
The result is a strange film, one could almost say that unique, and certainly not for all fans of the genre. But yes, those who enjoy twisted puzzles of obvious literary origin and those who still understand that part of the genre’s fascination is in the cerebral labyrinths and the doubting of the real through pure logic and its tricks. A real caramel too.