Even the most casual science fiction fan knows that tampering with the past is a dangerous game, no matter how well-intentioned. This concept is lost on the three main characters in Jared Moshé’s film “Aporia,” a charming yet foolish time-travel melodrama that relies heavily on the emotive performances of its cast.
Following the tragic loss of her husband Mal (played by Edi Gathegi), Sophie (Judy Greer) and her young daughter have been struggling to cope. Enter Jabir (Payman Maadi), Mal’s best friend who is both a physicist and a refugee from a brutal dictatorship that wiped out his entire family. Driven by a desire to rectify past injustices, Jabir has been quietly working on a time machine that resembles a crude contraption. While the machine itself doesn’t physically transport anyone through time, it has the potential to send back particles to eliminate a chosen target, such as the drunk driver responsible for Mal’s death.
However, Sophie, with her compassionate heart, cannot bring herself to carry out an assassination. Instead, she befriends the wife and daughter of the driver, only to discover the existence of a second villain. Each elimination requires lengthy soul-searching and leads to troubling consequences, prompting Sophie to consider if another murder will finally set things right.
“Aporia” is filled with nonsensical actions and plot holes, culminating in a highly frustrating ending. The film itself, whose title refers to doubt and uncertainty, lives up to its name. Yet, its most captivating concept lies in the importance it places on shared memories. When time is reset, only Sophie and Jabir retain knowledge of the initial timeline, rendering them outsiders in an alternate past, even their own.
While the film’s plot may be flawed, it manages to provoke thought regarding the consequences of altering the past. It also highlights the impact of shared memories on personal identity. The performances, particularly those of Greer and Maadi, elevate the film, injecting it with emotion and depth.
In conclusion, “Aporia” may not be the most coherent time travel film, but it does offer an intriguing exploration of the repercussions of manipulating the past. Its focus on shared memories adds an additional layer of complexity to the narrative. Ultimately, it is the sincere performances that make the film worth watching, despite its flaws.