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The problem with Granger coming back because of something happening at the party is that it is only the last revision that matters so unless Granger goes through the failsafe to before the party on Monday morning, he will only remember the revision where everything worked out fine.

Of course, Granger's disheveled appearance may indicate he's been hanging round since Monday morning so it is quite possible he's come back due to something horrible happening at the party.

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There's also a point just after they nab Granger where Abe and Aaron are discussing whether they'd tell anyone about the box "in an emergency". I suppose it's feasible that Rachel (and others?) could have been shot at the party in the original timeline, and they told a distraught Granger about the failsafe. Although you'd have thought one of them would have got in the box instead of 50+ year old Granger.

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Something else as well: When they plan to come back and stop the kids smacking the cars - this would have led to another pair or Aaron and Abe's wouldn't it, because if they stop the kids, they don't wake up to come back and stop the kids so they'll exist along with the doubles. But then obviously, the shit with Granger kicks off and they never do it, but it surprises me that at the point they come up with the idea when there is only one Abe, he doesn't cotton on to this fact. Or does he? And he simply doesn't care by now?

Just checked, the dialogue explains their reasoning here. They had already planned to use the boxes the next day to go back and do stock trading. So if they punched the guy, went back in the boxes, stopped the doubles from waking, then the doubles would be changed somewhat, but would dutifully get in the boxes and disappear. No duplicates.

I don't think I've properly thought that through before. What with that and The Granger Incident I realise that my mental model of the rules of time travel is irretrievably broken.

This fuckin' movie!

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Just checked, the dialogue explains their reasoning here. They had already planned to use the boxes the next day to go back and do stock trading. So if they punched the guy, went back in the boxes, stopped the doubles from waking, then the doubles would be changed somewhat, but would dutifully get in the boxes and disappear. No duplicates.

I don't think I've properly thought that through before. What with that and The Granger Incident I realise that my mental model of the rules of time travel is irretrievably broken.

This fuckin' movie!

But that's just there standard plan for the day. For there to be no doubles left they must do nothing to stop their originals getting in the box. If they stop the kid starting the car alarms they won't wake up to go and get in the box like they are about to do. The Aaron and Abe who have travelled back stop this from happening meaning the original sleeping pair don't wake up to go back. Ergo, doubles are left in existence.
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Just checked, the dialogue explains their reasoning here. They had already planned to use the boxes the next day to go back and do stock trading. So if they punched the guy, went back in the boxes, stopped the doubles from waking, then the doubles would be changed somewhat, but would dutifully get in the boxes and disappear. No duplicates.

I don't think I've properly thought that through before. What with that and The Granger Incident I realise that my mental model of the rules of time travel is irretrievably broken.

This fuckin' movie!

:lol:

No, it really is a great film. The only film I can think of off the top of my head where I have absolutely no particular regard for the actors or acting, or for the cinematography, or the score, or the sets, or anything else much, yet still regard it as a genuinely great (not good, truly great) film. Just (or mainly) for the story, just (or mainly), in particular, for the storytelling. Masterful, daring, uncompromising storytelling. Storytelling so dense and intelligent and involving that it still provokes this level of genuine enrapturement and useful critical discussion years after everyone's seen it, and seen it several times.

Aye, this film is certainly rubbish at storytelling.

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But that's just there standard plan for the day. For there to be no doubles left they must do nothing to stop their originals getting in the box. If they stop the kid starting the car alarms they won't wake up to go and get in the box like they are about to do. The Aaron and Abe who have travelled back stop this from happening meaning the original sleeping pair don't wake up to go back. Ergo, doubles are left in existence.

Their doubles get in the same box but later in the day because they never get woken up by the car alarms. So their doubles go off to another timeline and the ones who woke up and punched Aaron's boss (or whoever it was) 'take their place' as it were.

Although that's a shit plan, because then they still have to deal with the aftermath of punching Aaron's boss....they never un-do it in the timeline they stay in....nngh my brain

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:lol:

No, it really is a great film. The only film I can think of off the top of my head where I have absolutely no particular regard for the actors or acting, or for the cinematography, or the score, or the sets, or anything else much, yet still regard it as a genuinely great (not good, truly great) film. Just (or mainly) for the story, just (or mainly), in particular, for the storytelling. Masterful, daring, uncompromising storytelling. Storytelling so dense and intelligent and involving that it still provokes this level of genuine enrapturement and useful critical discussion years after everyone's seen it, and seen it several times.

Aye, this film is certainly rubbish at storytelling.

This is a fantastic point. I'm trying to think of others. Where the plot and story alone carry it, beyond all its technical failings. I'm struggling

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And there not planning on going on punching the guy, just stopping the kid from setting off the car alarm by standing there as he comes past.

I got it wrong, just checked. Their plan was;

- Get up in the middle of the night (because the kids woke up Abe by setting off car alarms)

- Punch the guy

- Get in the box

- Stop the kids from waking up Abe, so their doubles stay asleep until later in the morning

- Hide until their doubles get in the box later in the day, and take their doubles' place

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This is a fantastic point. I'm trying to think of others. Where the plot and story alone carry it, beyond all its technical failings. I'm struggling

I've thought about this before and can't come up with any. Sure, there are films where everything but the story is rubbish or mediocre or unremarkable, yet the story's so good it elevates them. But none of them is elevated to the level where the film is regarded (by me, by us I guess) as highly as this one, because the story here, the ideas and the way they are implemented, the way the story is structured and presented, is just so brilliantly engrossing and challenging and rewarding that it rocket-boosts the rest of the production into the heights of being a genuinely great film. One that you look back on better with each passing year. In other words, it's a classic, I think. A cult classic, obviously, but the sort of film that despite all its limitations in terms of budget etc you can only imagine a retread would worsen or sully or destroy the essence of the original. That's quite a feat.

It's not one of my favourite, say, twenty films, I don't think. Because the history of cinema is so rich and the cream of it is so life-enhancing that the top twenty's tough company. But certainly, if anyone asked me to name a truly great sci-fi film, this would spring to the lips as readily as just about anything else I can think of. Pretty amazing accomplishment is that, what with the complete lack of visual grandeur, epic setting, special effects, memorable characters, great score, etc. Just an amazing story so cleverly told that it continues to enthral many years after it's been seen several times over.

Of course, there is that episode of Dr Who with the dinosaurs. Obviously that tops it, but this goes without saying.

APM: I have seen the film three (I think) times, (may be four), but the last time was years ago and I'd honestly have to watch it again in order to take part in the discussion properly. I'm enjoying reading these musings so much I might just have to buy it outright (I've rented it a couple of times before. Another first!).

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For what it's worth I loved the film before I had idea what was going on. I loved the dialogue, the atmosphere, the mystery, the pseudo-science, the pacing, the characters, hell even the way the characters dress. And I especially love the approach to time-travel. Whether or not the film fails in having an entirely comprehensible story or not wasn't an issue personally. It succeeds beautifully in so many other ways.

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Just watched it again with my other half's mother. Brilliant experience watching a newcomer try and follow it and then the subsequent discussion after it. I even noticed for the first time that they remove the bullets from the gun before the party. I'm not sure why I never twigged to that.

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Just watched this for the first time. Bit tired and a little drunk , turns out that's not the best way to immerse yourself in this film. Think I need to watch it again to get my head around it a bit better.

Enjoyed it and think I got the jist of it though. Couple of bits don't seem clear or properly resolved but it seems that that is intentional.

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I watched this again last night and have been trying to figure out what happens at Robert's party in the various timelines that Aaron 3 (i.e the Aaron who we see in most of the film, who has looped through not once, but twice) experiences.

First time round, in the untampered timeline, Aaron doesn't attend the party, but something quite bad must have happened for Aaron to go all the way back and irreversibly duplicate himself in an attempt to change things.

Having travelled back, he goes to the party to try to avert the incident with Rachel's boyfriend. Whatever he does on his first loop back around, things obviously don't work out right. This first looping Aaron is Aaron 2, who wears a dark hoody and narrates the story. He is deliberately vague about what happens at his experience of the party in the voicemail he leaves to Aaron 1 (the Aaron who is drugged and stuffed in the attic). It's possible that hooded Aaron actually makes things worse by trying to intervene.

So he decides to loop back round again as Aaron 3 - the one we see through most of the film, listening to recordings of the previous timeline and starting to feel the effects of so much time travel. This Aaron fails to subdue hooded Aaron, but convinces hooded Aaron to leave town so that he, with his extra experience, can take another run at 'fixing' the party.

We actually get to see (or at least hear about) two versions of Aaron 3's attempts to fix the party. The first one seems to go quite well - we know about this version of the party from Robert, who refers to Aaron as "hero" before recounting the events of the party to original Abe.

However, it seems likely that, despite Aaron 3 fixing the party, there are some unforseen knock-on effects later in the week. Perhaps Rachel's jilted ex-boyfriend, steaming about being mugged off by Aaron 3 at the party, does something awful a few days later. If I had to guess, this is why Granger (Rachel's dad) comes back in time - to stop this second disaster. However, Granger's encounter with Abe and Aaron 3 changes things and prompts Abe to get into his failsafe to go back to the start (although, it's not actually the start because Aaron had already got to the failsafe boxes first and set them up to do his own loops back to the start of the week).

Then we see Abe 2 and an alternative version of Aaron 3 properly fix the party. This seems to resolve the situation fully. In this timeline Aaron 3 assures Abe 2 that nothing really bad happens at the party e.g the ex doesn't fire the shotgun. However, I think he's probably lying. He needs Abe's help, and there's no way he would create two doubles of himself unless something quite bad happened in both previous loops.

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Also, with regard to their plan to punch Platts, I don't think that would have worked either. Once they punch Platts and go back to stop the kids starting the car alarms, they'd have to lie low while their alternative selves wake up at a normal time, isolate themselves in the hotel, then get into the boxes the following evening. I guess their plan is to come out into the open once their alternative selves have entered the boxes. However, the Abe and Aaron who enter the boxes will emerge earlier that day, at which point there would be three versions of Abe and Aaron: the ones who had punched Platts and are hiding somewhere, the ones who had woken up at a normal time and isolated themselves in the hotel, and the ones walking around openly and making stock trades. Of course, one of those pairs would enter the boxes that evening, but that would still leave two pairs permanently in existence. And that doesn't even take into consideration the two extra Aaron's who are knocking about due to the party incident. ;)

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All this talk of timelines 1, 2 and 3; isn't there a line in the film that alludes to their being countless attempts to fix the party situation? (or an unknown amount) Can anyone with a more recent viewing remind me what the line was, because I'm not sure what they'd do with all the doubles, if I'm remembering it correctly.

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All this talk of timelines 1, 2 and 3; isn't there a line in the film that alludes to their being countless attempts to fix the party situation? (or an unknown amount) Can anyone with a more recent viewing remind me what the line was, because I'm not sure what they'd do with all the doubles, if I'm remembering it correctly.

Narrator Aaron (or Aaron 2 or Hooded Aaron) refers to this, but we don't see any evidence of countless revisions. We can deduce that there was the original party (neither Abe nor Aaron in attendance), the first revision (Hooded Aaron attends but doesn't fix things to his satisfaction), the second revision (where Aaron3 earns the moniker "hero") and a third revision where both Abe2 and Aaron3 attend and fix the situation (we actually see this one as it unfolds - removing the slugs from the shotgun etc).

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The narrator speculates that there may have been 1, 2 or 20 times that Aaron had to loop through to get the party right, but like the Granger incident, how many is unknowable to him as only the final revision is remembered by anyone. Hence why Robert and the the other guy come in calling him a hero on the Wednesday morning, as the final revision has been sewn into history.

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The narrator speculates that there may have been 1, 2 or 20 times that Aaron had to loop through to get the party right, but like the Granger incident, how many is unknowable to him as only the final revision is remembered by anyone. Hence why Robert and the the other guy come in calling him a hero on the Wednesday morning, as the final revision has been sewn into history.

It's true that once Narrator Aaron is convinced to leave town that he doesn't know how many further Aaron's appear to try to set things right. I think the audience knows more, though. Also the timeline where Robert calls Aaron "hero" isn't even the final revision, as Abe goes back in a failsafe box after this and joins Aaron in fixing the party!

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It's just occurred to me as well, that from Monday morning onwards, the film is one big paradox in that the original Abe and Aaron never invent time travel (and I know this is mentioned in the conversation at the end at the airport) as the original Abe and Aaron are stuck in a closet/loft for the majority of the week. So they never did it, meaning they never could have come back... This film!

Also, the Abe and Aaron that are locked away... They're memory of Monday will be not there as they're drugged. Won't they find it odd that everyone thought they were at the party, saving Rachel, when they were actually drugged in their homes?

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It's occurred to me that the whole reason Aaron does what he does in order to get the party right is that he's the one who invites the guy in the first place at the basketball court (it's the guy's cousin, isn't it). It comes after that bit where the floppy haired kid at work tells him about the meeting being cancelled.

I could never figure out why Aaron felt the need to do what he did, but I guess he feels responsible, and I'm not sure I buy into the whole reason he gives Abe, to put the guy behind bars etc.

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I like that it outlines the possibility that the film cuts back and forth between Aaron3 and Aaron1. I have spent some time wondering about whether it does that or not.

It would make sense from a filmmaking point of view, because otherwise during the pivotal scenes one of the characters is faking everything, which is less satisfying for repeat viewings.

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About the larger machine; I thought that was because the more comfortable and liveable the inside of the time machine could be, the longer they could stay in it and so, go back further.

Which is one thing that confused me about using the failsafe boxes. As I understand it, if you are in the box for six hours, you come out of the box six hours before you entered. So for the failsafe boxes, are they in there for a few days? For example, if Aaron uses his failsafe first, is he in there for 48 hours?

Edit: Or is this the box-in-a-box situation?

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