What I'm Watching: Shuffle
Before the new Triskanalysis goes up, I wanted to squeeze in another movie, and I picked this one up on a whim, because the story tickled my interests.
Shuffle is the story of Lovell Milo, a man out of time, who is living his life out of order. The first thing he remembers is waking up in bed as an old man of 92, and when he falls back asleep almost immediately, he awakens at another age in his life. Every time he goes to sleep, he wakes up on another, different day of his life.
The mystery of why this is happening, and what he needs to do, is reminiscent of some of my favourite stories. Shutter is a little bit Slaughterhouse Five, a little bit Memento, and a bit of Quantum Leap.
It stars TJ Thyne from "Bones" as Lovell, and he brings a few of his Bones castmates along with him for small, if important roles. Although, they do get a bit distracting, having the chunk of a cast from another show.
But even with that distraction, I really loved this movie. The story is laid out well, the time jumps are clear, and having the component of sleep being the go-between for points in Milo's life, really make it clear when it happens. There's no surprise shifts in time, outside of what age he'll be.
The story moves along at a brisk pace, the acting is decent enough for a low budget movie, and they are smart enough to not get too bogged down in being clever with their premise. The time travel never gets in the way of the narrative, which flows strangely naturally. Having Lovell still be experiencing this in a linear fashion, and having it all building up to a crescendo, and most of it mattering, it really feels like a story, and not just slices of a person's life.
My biggest complaint is the camera work and lighting. The director likes to make things washed out, and while it gives the world a dreamlike quality to it, it just made the entire movie fuzzy and feeling out of focus. It's not bad, but it did distract me a few times.
There is one line in the movie, midway through, that completely blows the plot out of the water and gives away the game. I wish they'd not laid that card on the table so soon, before they actually reveal what's going on, since you kinda are waiting for the characters to catch up with you for the next 10-20 minutes. But there's fortunately more to the plot beyond that, as Lovell needed these events to occur in his life, and there is at least a reason behind the reason.
Shutter is heartwarming, heartbreaking, gut wrenching, and uplifting all at once. A truly touching, interesting, almost unique movie. A very high recommendation from me.