The unknown future and the forgotten past are inherent parts of the human life. What would happen, however, if the past, present and future could be lived at the same time?
Mia Trachinger’s latest project attempts to mess with the concepts of memory, morality and destiny to create a real thinker of a film. But jam-packed with such complicated concepts, “Reversion,” falls short in execution as the story is stifled under the pressure of such heavy theory.
“Reversion,” which premiered this year at Sundance, tells the tale of lean, listless Eva (Leslie Silva), one of the many mutants with the ability to see the past, present and future simultaneously. Basically, she’s part psychic, but also can’t differentiate between what has already happened and what is yet to come. She spends her time car-jacking and searching for a way to stop herself from fulfilling her destiny to kill her semi-boyfriend, Marcus (Jason Olive). Marcus is along for the ride, and is at first apathetic about his imminent death, but becomes increasingly agitated as time progresses.
Los Angeles is not a pretty city in the near-future. Car-jacking, robberies and even murder are so common that the citizens don’t even blink as it happens right before their eyes. Even more disturbing is the fact that Eva and her housemates are completely comfortable participating in criminal activity. Their mutual understanding seems to be that because they already know their future, there’s no use trying to fight it.
Silva is magnetic enough to carry the plotline. She instills into Eva a satisfying mix of tormented, hopeful and indifferent. She is also a step above most of the other actors in the film, who are only memorable for the strange, vacant looks on their faces.
The main story, however, is interrupted by two distracting sub-plots. The first involves two babbling stoners who provide an explanation of the mutants’ problem (they are lacking a “time gene”), and the other, ominous commentary on child-rearing, is an awkward attempt to make this twisted tale even more surreal.
Regardless of the distractions, the main plotline has problems of its own. The mutation is never really explained, so there’s no way to really tell what it means to the characters. They are endlessly removed from their own lives, making it pretty hard for anyone to be sympathetic to their plight. There’s a mysterious beach, which has a colony of people who are somehow different from Eva, but who they are is never clarified. Are they also mutants? Or do they view time in a linear fashion?
Making it worse, the relationship between Eva and Marcus feels more like a tryst than a serious love connection. They don’t seem to really care much for each other, so Eva’s determination to resist killing Marcus is also a little hard to care about or even believe.
So without love between Eva and Marcus, fate steps in. If they can already see their future, and see it as inevitable, then Eva’s journey is null and void. And because of that fact alone, the fate of this film can also be determined—forgettable as the past.