2021 Fantasia Film Festival Festival Coverage

2021 Fantasia Film Festival: Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes ★★★

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes already clues the audiences in with its name, as the story revolves around a café owner who realizes the television in his café is two minute ahead in time (or the monitor at his home is two minutes behind). Either way, as the group of friends figure out the time-loop, they try to take advantage of it in excitement. Junta Yamaguchi opens his film and wastes no time dabbling in details, throwing the audience right into the story.

Of course time travel is nothing new to the cinema industry, nevertheless, one has to admire the fact that screenwriter Makoto Ueda still found an original way to implement this overused yet always fun concept. Two minutes of time discrepancy sounds completely insignificant at first, and it actually is, yet Ueda still manages to make a gripping plot progression out of the insignificancy. The implementation of this idea is as creative and silly as it sounds. Thus, the original premise develops quite well, not sticking to the pre-made formula, but taking it to new levels.

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes combines science fiction quite well with comedy, and even adds a splash of romance to the mix as well. Granted, it is not a revolutionary formula, but one clearly determined day one of production such that the end-product is cliché-free for the most part whereas a lot of different tropes from any of the three aforementioned genres could easily be abused. 

The comedic aspects are not to be underestimated in the film, even though jokes might not deliver at the pace of a typical comedy film, yet the use of puns are great, giving the audience some key hilarious moments. The actors also deserve praise, as their mimics and reactions fit the script quite well.

The team behind Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes also operates with a low budget, yet this should not stop anyone from watching it, as Junta Yamaguchi does such a capable job with directing what he has, so that the limited budget has little impact on the overall quality of the end-product. 

Still, there are two relatively small issues with Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes that somewhat disrupt its fluency. The first one of those is that the runtime is approximately seventy minutes. This, in itself, is not a problem of course – on the contrary, it is great that the film does not drag unnecessarily at any point and it is safe to say that there aren’t any moments that prevent plot progression. Still, seventy minutes feels a bit on the short side, since someone as creative as Makoto Ueda could have found a fun way to continue the story.

The second issue is where the audience would most likely be galvanized, as the story gets even more over-the-top close to the end. It sounds plausible, considering the film is already absurd as it is, but at that point, there could have been better ways to tie-up a story such as this one.

Nevertheless, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is quite an experience. It is light, it is fun, it is beyond original and it is worth watching for anyone who enjoys any of the three genres the film is a mixture of.

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