A mischievous blend of sci-fi and comrom (emphasis on the ‘com’), The Infinite Man is compared to the likes of Groundhog Day and Primer all too easily and often.
A mischievous blend of sci-fi and comrom (emphasis on the ‘com’), The Infinite Man is compared to the likes of Groundhog Day and Primer all too easily and often. Adelaide’s Hugh Sullivan shows daring and charm as a screenwriter and director in his debut feature, which struck a chord with audiences at South by Southwest and other indie cred festivals this year. Hapless sap Dean (Josh McConville) seeks to re-create the perfect romantic weekend for girlfriend Lana (Hannah Marshall). Only, he’s just a bit shit. The unexpected presence of Lana’s ex Terry (Alex Dimitriades) sends their getaway into a tailspin. Using a time travel device of his invention, Dean travels back a year to attempt a do-over, which ends up producing an infinite loop of realities. The ménage à trois must break their cycle of mirthful self-sabotage to escape the abandoned motor inn that serves as their psychological prison. Refreshingly atypical of most Australian comedy, this film balances both cute and cunning ideas across its writing and direction. Stylistically, it smacks of Wes Anderson early on, which will hook most hipster viewers. Superbly paced, each new timeline and its native characters are placed perfectly to reel straying minds back in. With each Dean-carnation, McConville lets certain characteristics advance and retreat, dotting Woomera’s wasteland with his myriad mindsets. Lana is sometimes a little muted, suffering from Doctor Who Companion Syndrome, but Marshall successfully animates a character who’s often reduced to the object of competing men’s affections. As a debut feature, The Infinite Man is impressive, showing off a striking sense of humour from a resourceful director. Nice ‘n’ nerdy with its time travel devices (both plot and prop), it equally explores high anxiety and awkward love, which our high school hearts never grow immune to. The Infinite Man sets a fine benchmark for comedy features in Australia, while Sullivan’s freshman success – of course reflective of his own ingenuity – is hopefully indicative of a film industry quietly thriving within South Australia. The Infinite Man is screening at Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas. Rated MA.