The Infinite Man – Movie Review

by Eva Musat

The Infinite Man is a 2014 Australian science-fiction film directed by Hugh Sullivan that is about Dean, a scientist, who wishes to relive a special weekend he had with his girlfriend Lana. When Lana’s ex-boyfriend Terry interrupts them, Dean tries to make things right by traveling back in time. The film takes place in only one location, the hotel where said special weekend took place, and only has three characters.

The limited setting, few characters, and time travel plot are the things that drew me to this movie in the first place. It is quite similar to the movie Coherence (2013), which I think is one of the most innovative thrillers I´ve seen recently. However, The Infinite Man develops more into the genres of romance and comedy, whereas Coherence belongs to the surreal and thriller genres.

I had high hopes for this movie, but I ended up being a little bit disappointed and by the end, confused.  This doesn´t mean it was bad, I just didn´t like it as much as I expected it to. The first part of the movie intrigued me, but started to feel a bit static; in the middle and toward the end of the movie the cleverly written dialogue helped turn the movie around.

The very first thing we see is Dean, while his inner monologue is heard, where he talks about loving his girlfriend and understanding her neurochemically, in a way that nobody else can. He believes he is the only one that can make her happy because, having studied her from the perspective of a scientist, he knows exactly how. This sets an interesting tone for the movie and I expected that we delve into the scientific details behind Dean´s knowledge of Lana, but that never happened.

The overall plot was well structured. It had very few plot holes, which was quite surprising, but it lacked the clarity needed to understand the movie. I think that maybe a small difference in the characters´ appearance for each time travel loop would have helped. I understand that in order to relive the weekend Dean wants every character to wear the same clothing each time; after all, if the perfect weekend happened once, why shouldn´t it work again, if the same conditions and circumstances are met? But a small change in hair color, hairstyle, or facial hair would have helped the viewer a lot.

If one wants an interesting plot and an exploration of time travel, the movie falls slightly short, as it is easy to get confused with the timeline. This confusion can be solved by some research, which led me to a website that explains the different time travel plots in detail and even includes a chart.[1]

While the plot is lacking, if anybody needs inspiration for unique directing, cinematography and editing, this is by all means the movie to watch.

The technical aspects of the movie, are just beautiful. The colors have a specific yellow and orange vintage look about them and the notable choice of music both make for a unique viewing experience. Especially eye-catching is the way the camera follows our characters, more specifically the way it follows the places Dean points to when he shows Lana where they were last year. Additionally, the film editing is very striking, in the way it cuts to different paintings and even the list Dean made for the perfect weekend, as are the different transitions used in the film.

Overall the movie is fun to experience, but difficult to grasp without looking at some sort of explanation. Still, it can be enjoyable and even interesting to watch, if you like unique technical aspects such as camera work and film editing.

[1] Swaminathan, B. (Barry). (2019, October 17). The Infinite Man Explained (2014 Australian Film). This Is Barry.