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Los Cronocrímenes (Time Crimes)

October 2, 2008

Hector (Karra Elejalde) is a boring and ordinary man who has just moved to a new house in Northern Spain, with his wife, Clara (Candela Fernández). One evening, after a tiring day being boring and ordinary (he really is very boring and very ordinary), while he’s looking through his binoculars, he sees a naked girl (Bárbara Goenaga) in the woods. Not just naked, but ¡es muy guapa! What a girl.

Well, anyhoo, he decides to go closer, just to get a better look. She’s moved, and so he has to creep further and further into the woods to find her again. Suddenly, a man with a pink bandage across his face, and covered in a big formless coat, stabs Hector in his arm with scissors.

Chased through the woods, Hector becomes lost and eventually finds his way to a research lab, where a very nervous and highly suspicious character offers to hide him from his tormentor.

He tells him, as you would, to hide in a large sauna type affair, like a sensory deprivation tank, which he does. Without an explanation, Hector emerges immediately, but finds he’s travelled back in time to an hour earlier.

Naturally.

The man in charge of the time machine explains to Hector that another Hector – well, that is, the original Hector, but for the film’s purposes, Hector 2 – is now setting the events in motion that will create the actual Hector 2; him. No, wait, he’s Hector 1. Hector (Hector 1) mustn’t interfere with the other Hector so he can ensure he hops into the time machine and then we can get back to normal. So, scurrying off home he intercepts the girl (who’s happily cycling along minding her own business), forces her strip and and stand in the place that he originally saw her. When she complains he’s hit by a car (which is driven by Hector 3), injuring his face.

To stop the bleeding, he covers his face with a bandage that turns pink because of the blood. Then he realizes he has to stab the first Hector (Hector 2? not sure) and chase him to the time machine in order to make things how they were…unaware that he is actually being followed by Hector 3.

I think.

It’s all very silly, as you can tell, but as a baffling exercise in trying to keep several time lines straight in your head, it’s more than a little entertaining. Played for laughs most of the time, but with a cynical smirk in it’s denouement, and some hearty giggles aimed at the pervy Hector (who basically has to beat the shit out of himself at every turn to keep on track) this is a head-scratching divertissement executed with admirable straight faces, wit, élan, and bags of energy.

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