Labeling “I’ll Follow You Down” as a “time travel thriller” sets a particular expectation for action-oriented suspense that’s genetically excluded from the movie’s DNA. “I’ll Follow You Down” is intriguing not as Saturday matinee science-fiction, but as a metaphor about consequences that come from living a lifetime of unbalanced commitments and conflicted goals.
What does that mean exactly? It means there are not any good guys and bad guys arguing over flapping butterfly wings or high stakes consequences about killing dictators in their infancy. “I’ll Follow You Down” is more melodrama than mystery with only a rather futuristic touch to springboard a search of themes regarding the price of idealistic values.
In the year 2000, theoretical researcher Gabriel Whyte says goodbye to his wife. Meanwhile, Marika still grieves for her lost love with a daily cocktail of prescription pills and protracted depression.
When tragedy continues striking at what remains of the Whyte family, Erol’s university professor grandfather Sal posits a possible solution. Having discovered Gabe’s research secreted away during a dim basement, Sal involves believe that Gabe neither died nor disappeared. He went back in time to go to Einstein in 1946. As crazy as that sounds, Sal needs Erol’s mathematical mind to figure out the physics involved in recreating the wormhole experiment and bringing Gabe back to vary this .
If that setup seems like it veers into heady territory of quantum conundrums, worry not. While dialogue occasionally indulges in Greek-like techno-babble, it’s only a momentary distraction to form the science sound meaningful. Understanding the “how” of its time travel premise is that the least critical element required for tuning into what “I’ll Follow You Down” has got to say. this is often not the sort of era-hopping epic necessitating close attention to nitty gritty details about ripple effects and alternate timelines so as to mentally keep step with twists and turns.
Other clichés vary in how forgivable they’re . Frankly, the ending is just too abrupt to be fully satisfying, albeit it absolutely works story-wise as a wise resolution. Victor Garber’s grandfather character features a go-nowhere subplot involving a possible romance together with his tea-fetching secretary while Erol and his girlfriend enjoy a Hollywood-fabricated childhood courtship, albeit a really cute one. (It takes a black heart to not smile over the Lego car, regardless of how contrived it’s as a plot device.)
The movie succeeds due to its cast, but also because its core concept is so strong. Weighing the advantages of accepting what can’t be changed versus chasing a perfect only presumed to be preferable is presented as a relatable idea using science-fiction as a frame for entertainment. Ultimately, it’s this unique approach to a standard time travel dilemma that creates “I’ll Follow You Down” absorbing as a thoughtful thriller.