“Our heirs, whatever or whoever they may be, will explore space and time to degrees we cannot currently fathom. They will create new melodies in the music of time. There are infinite harmonies to be explored.” - Clifford Pickover
We had some cold and wet weather over the weekend and it was very pleasant to be able to sit at home in the warmth and watch a movie in the afternoon. It was a rather interesting film that we did watch, Gregory Hoblit’s 2000 movie “Frequency” starring Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel, Shawn Doyle and Elizabeth Mitchell. The film was a science fiction drama based on the premise that communication between the future and the past is possible under a set of certain electromagnetic conditions triggered by solar flares. Once you get over this conceit, you can immerse yourself in the possibilities suggested by the movie, including the famous paradoxes where the possibility of time travel in one form or another allows one to change the course of history.
For example, one paradox is the idea that if one were able to go back in time, the time traveller could change things in the past by interfering with his own family history. The grandfather paradox and the idea of autoinfanticide are typical of this: In this paradox, a time traveller goes back in time and kills his grandfather at a time before his grandfather met his grandmother. If he did so, then his mother or father never would have been born, and neither would the time traveller himself, in which case the time traveller never would have gone back in time to kill his grandfather… Autoinfanticide works the same way, where a traveller goes back and attempts to kill himself as an infant. If he were to do so, he never would have grown up to go back in time to kill himself as an infant.
The plot of the movie has as follows: A rare atmospheric phenomenon triggered by solar flares in the 1960s and the 1990s allows a New York City firefighter in the past, to communicate with his son 30 years in the future via short-wave radio. The son uses this opportunity to warn the father of his impending death in a warehouse fire, and manages to save his life. However, what he does not realise is that changing history has triggered a new set of tragic events, including the murder of his mother. The two men must now work together, 30 years apart, to find the murderer before he strikes so that they can change history again.
We enjoyed this film as a thriller/mystery more than as a science fiction movie. Time played a role, but the interweaving stories of past and present were what made the film interesting and involving. The characters were interesting and believable, the family relationships portrayed were authentic and believable and the situations that father and son find themselves in through the tenuous connection over time are often poignant, sometimes humorous and at other times filled with suspense and mystery. The acting is very good and both Quaid as the father and Caviezel as the son do a sterling job with the material that has been given to them.
Toby Emmerich, better known as a film producer, wrote the story of this movie and he has managed to combine a great many original features with some old standards of the “Time travel” theme. The strong serial killer plotline that runs through the movie adds so much to the story and as the film progresses becomes an integral part of the story. Michael Kamen has provided an intelligent film score that doesn’t intrude but invests the action with suitable suspense and mystery. Cinematography by Alar Kivilo and film editing by David Rosenbloom contribute to the polished feel and look of the film. Watch it!