Aussie time-travel rom com The Infinite Man sits somewhere the middle of the triangle formed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Primer and, uh, Triangle. That’s a promising combination, and given my fondness for time-travel films, I had high expectations.
They were not met. The film’s main problem is a lack of emotional authenticity. It’s a three-hander featuring couple Dean (Josh McConville) and Lana (Hannah Marshall) and ex-boyfriend Terry (Alex Dimitriades); unfortunately, only anxious Dean is given any real characterisation. The other two are, egregiously, little more than one-dimensional constructs.
This is intermittently justified by the convoluted narrative – on more than one occasion, Lana repeats lines fed to her by Dean – and it does tie in to the film’s excoriation of Dean’s self-absorption. It makes some thematic sense that Lana isn’t really a person when Dean doesn’t treat her as such, as the time-travel conceit reveals his self-sabotaging, over-intellectualised approach to their relationship.
Look, the subtext works. But the text itself suffers due to its deficient characterisation. The intricacies of the “closed loop” have little-to-no emotional or logical foundation. Ultimately, The Infinite Man is much like its hero: not as funny or clever as it believes itself to be.