Review: TRAUMA IS A TIME MACHINE Is A Personal And Topical Film

FIRST IMPRESSION

Solidly-made and wonderfully acted, Trauma is a Time Machine is an imperfect debut, but it is also very effective at delivering its message.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Trauma is a Time Machine, written and directed by Angelica Zollo, is a personal and deeply emotional film showing how a person can be affected by a traumatic experience. Adapted from her short of the same name, this story may have been better fit to a smaller runtime but is mostly effective nonetheless.

The movie follows a woman as she attempts to heal after a traumatic experience in her relationship. Zollo’s purpose seems to be to provide an accurate depiction of trauma and its effects, and for the most part, she succeeds. Unfortunately, this film’s biggest strengths and issues are tied together. By trying to capture the depression and anxiety faced by the character, there are long stretches of the movie that feel stagnant.

Although these sequences do sometimes hold back the film’s narrative momentum, their necessity in terms of character development is obvious. Zollo builds the protagonist in a way that is very compelling by using flashbacks. The audience sees her first in her depression, and towards the end of the movie, sees the traumatic experience itself. This is an unorthodox way of forming the narrative, but it makes the brutality of the event feel even more impactful.

The film definitely hits very hard emotionally. In no way is this meant to be heartwarming. Instead, Zollo seems to hope that the movie will start a conversation about how to help victims and survivors as they attempt to overcome and heal from their trauma. Because the film is so hard to watch, the movie ends up feeling exhausting despite the fact that the runtime is under an hour and a half.

trauma is a time machine smoking

Yet despite the overwhelmingly dark tone that dominates the film, there is a positive and hopeful message lying not too deep below the surface. On a basic level, the movie is talking about the horror of rape and the nightmarish effects that it can have on its victims. However, beyond that, the film highlights the strength of survivors and how much work and will it takes for someone to overcome trauma such as this. If one doesn’t admire the perseverance of survivors, this movie will change that.

Augie Duke’s lead performance is excellent. Since she is very much the focus of the film, the narrative’s effectiveness rests on her range and her ability to portray emotion, and thankfully, she pulls it off. The subtlety of her turn means that it is unlikely to garner her any real recognition, but the nuance with which she brings the character to life is truly impressive.

On a technical level, the movie is straightforward but effective. The black-and-white cinematography and closely-detailed production design allow the film to create tension that drives the movie. Zollo is able to immerse the audience in the protagonist’s world, as if they are trapped in her self-imposed prison with her.

Imperfect yet still effective, Trauma is a Time Machine communicates its point early but is able to keep the audience’s attention for the rest of the film. Writer-director Angelica Zollo has a clear voice that will hopefully be refined even more in her next effort.

Trauma is a Time Machine is now in theaters and on VOD.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Modern Love Series Breakdown | Prime Video

Spoiler Alert: this full-on recap of all eight episodes of Modern Love is basically the TLDR for love in New York City. » Watch Modern Love now exclusively with your Prime Membership:http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoModernLove » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Modern Love: An unlikely friendship. A lost love resurfaced. A marriage at its turning point. A date that might…

Supergirl | Season 5 Episode 8 | The Wrath Of Rama Khan Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Supergirl Mondays, free only on The CW App: http://go.cwtv.com/genSPGyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About SUPERGIRL: SUPERGIRL is based on the DC character Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin, who after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant…

American Horror Story: 1984 | Season 9 Ep. 8: Jingles Begs Highlight | FX

Don't get tied up by your past mistakes. #AHS1984 Subscribe now for more American Horror Story clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In the summer of 1984, five friends escape Los Angeles to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. As they adjust to their new jobs, they quickly learn that the only thing scarier than campfire tales is the…

These Consumer Goods Come At A Price | Broken Trailer | Netflix

Broken is a new investigative documentary series that identifies and deconstructs the systems that make consumer products vulnerable to fraud, corruption, and negligence - often at the expense of public health and safety. The series uncovers the truth behind the consumer price of the vaping industry, counterfeit cosmetics, plastics and fast furniture. Watch Broken, only…

Eddie Griffin: E-Niggma | Official Teaser | SHOWTIME Comedy

Veteran entertainer Eddie Griffin is back for his third SHOWTIME comedy special, EDDIE GRIFFIN: E-NIGGMA, premiering on Friday, December 6 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Through his quick wit and a fiery rhetoric, Griffin flexes his perspective on a number of personal family situations and real-world issues while teaching sociopolitical and hypothetical history lessons along the…

All American | Season 2 Episode 6 | Hard Knock Life Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of All American Tuesdays, free only on The CW App: https://go.cwtv.com/ALLShowyt SUBSCRIBE: https://go.cwtv.com/ALLShowyt About All American: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds - Crenshaw and Beverly Hills -…

Ford v Ferrari | Movie Review

Ashley reviews Ford v Ferrari. FORD v FERRARI is based on the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor…

Sugar Rush Christmas | Official Trailer | Netflix

Everything you love about "Sugar Rush" -- with a holly jolly Christmas twist! Sugar Rush Christmas premieres on Netflix Nov 29. Watch Sugar Rush Christmas, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81094391 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here