Review: Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes

Directed by Junta Yamaguchi and written by Makoto Ueda, a cafe owner discovers that the TV in his cafe suddenly shows images from the future, but only two minutes into the future. Starring: Kazunari Tosa, Riko Fujitani, Gôta Ishida, Masashi Suwa, Yoshifumi Sakai, Haruki Nakagawa, Munenori Nagano, Takashi Sumita, Chikara Honda and Aki Asakura.

There’s one thing to unavoidably get out of the way first, with this chosen story of constantly viewing two-minutes into the future, things are going to get repetitive. The result means that if it’s going to annoy you from the beginning, you may not make it to the end but if you stick with it, it will be worth your while. Despite that one drawback, this extremely inventive story creates a growing plot that moves somewhat slow but continually has something new to add. A story which is built upon an adorable atmosphere, it’s sweet and playful, even bashful. Which is where the second tip for full enjoyment of this one comes in, you can’t try to pin down the sci-fi elements, pull out the logic or try to figure it out. The more you just go with it, the more likely you are to have a slice of the fun that they seemed to have making it.

Along with the film’s creative and inventive nature, comes its utterly enthusiastic characters. They are beaming with energy, to the point that their excitedness makes them feel like kids. It does also make them feel a bit naïve but that’s easily forgiven as they’re a charming bunch. The cast present a great group, as well as each having their own assets to bring to the table. Aki Asakura and Riko Fujitani particularly stand out, providing two different women but both work to balance out the ensemble.

The true imagination of this film comes not only from the writing but in how creative the filmmakers got with the filming process. Following the growingly popular one shot style to keep you plugged into the action and giving you no room to escape. However, there’s a fairly bland nature to the colour of the film, the café chosen to be the main location is extremely beige, plus several outfit choices that are similar, it lacks a pop of colour to brighten things up. It’s not a big issue but when joined with the repetitive nature of the story, it would have been helpful to add a feel of variety. Especially when given the restrictive nature of filming and the, mostly, singular location, there wasn’t any room to improve the lighting.

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes may not be the perfect film but it is a perfect example of what can be achieved on a small budget, in a limited time frame, if you get creative. It has an almost infectious atmosphere, it’s sweet, fun and bursting with enthusiasm, which considering the constant movement it took to film this, the whole team deserve a lot of credit for keeping the energy that high. It creates a lovely balance of trying to contemplate time travel and having a good time.

Verdict: ✯✯✯½ | 7/10

Available on VOD now in the UK and from January 25 in the US

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