Written and directed by Russell Goldman, Closing Time feels personal. Like an ode of sorts, to youth, to lost time, and to longing. Set in a time loop that cruises in and between 6 years, the near 20-minute long film delves into the human psyche, all through the eyes of young Trent (Caleb Foote) whose inability to leave nostalgia where it belongs sets course for this sci-fi drama.
Trent calls for a reunion. Unusual in every way conceivable. For, there’s no fancy gathering, no shimmering lights and certainly no music to drown the awkward silence amongst the four friends awaiting Trent’s grand scheme of plans. It becomes evident very early on that far too much water has passed under this bridge. Joy (Terry Hu), Teresa (Samantha Bartow), Garland (Demi Adejuyigbe) and Kerry (Alyssa Limperis) who try their best to politely tolerate Trent’s fidgety personality, soon start to strip off the veneer of their inhibitions. There’s bitterness, unanswered questions, silent accusations and much more, very convincingly portrayed by the entire cast.
And, that’s where the success of Closing Time lies. For a multi-starring film, the characters are very well looked after. The writing takes into account the character arc for each of the friends, leaving no stone unturned in giving justice to their individual timeline. Each of them are given meaty roles to chew on, and the star cast make an effort to not outshine one another, but instead wholly support each other’s arc. This is particularly good, considering how most films fail in this department. In fact, it’s an ode to Goldman’s directorial and writing skills that we get to witness what a wholesome multi-starrer can actually achieve.
DoP Ali Arminio has some challenges. Closing Time has the settings of a bottle film, and Arminio happily rises up to the challenge. Along with Editor Marco Rosas and Composer Eric Porestsky’s contribution they make the film a tactile experience. When the jukebox begins to play music, and the namesake track (Semisonic’s) begins to play, one can’t help but smile at the nearly perfect setting for a story that can resonate with anyone who has half lived their life making choices that best left them feeling compromised.
Closing Time touches upon universal chords of nostalgia, regret and longing. It asks its audience to rethink, revisit and ponder over their own life choices. After all, how many of us can truly claim to have made choices that didn’t make us second guess? How many of us live in a limbo, because the ship sailed a long time ago? And, if given the chance, how many of us wouldn’t lap up to the opportunity of revisiting that moment where our lives changed forever?
Goldman offers a modicum of hope with his time travel drama. Easily adaptable for a series or better still, an anthology, Closing Time carries with it the hallmarks of a well executed storyline. Kudos to the entire team!
Closing Time: A Sci-Fi That Explores Regrets & Nostalgia Through Time Loop