Ian Samuels (director)
1h 38mins (length)
15 February 2021 (released)
15 February 2021
Though stuck in a time-loop, Mark (Kyle Allen) seems content with aimlessly goofing around in The Map of Tiny Perfect things till he runs into Margaret (Kathryn Newton), who is like him, but different. Together, they decide on utilizing this seemingly infinite time at their disposal to capture those inexplicable moments of joy which make life memorable.
The movie is as much of a coming-of-age story as it is a romantic comedy. The initial focus is on Mark and his wanderings, his detachment from lives of others till he tries to win the affections of Margaret. His failure to do the same helps him appreciate the real meaning of life. Margaret, on the other hand tries to avoid Mark initially but becomes enamoured with him nevertheless. Slowly, the story makes us realize that it has much more to do with Margaret than we were led to believe.
The usual ‘Time-Loop’ tropes and themes are discussed. From giving constant nods to previous features with the same theme (Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow), to exploring what it means to be in such a situation, whether it is the main characters discussing the idea of being the only ones awake while everyone else dreams or how they are like two castaways, who are stuck in a day instead of an island.
However, the makers do not delve too much in explanations or deconstruction of the movie theme rather the focus is on the lived experience in this loop. There is the failure to look at harsh truths in the face (and subsequent realization of the same), how oblivious we become to people around us (even those who care for us) as we go about achieving our life-goals and the question that maybe we aren’t looking at things in the right fashion, for instance, we may lose time and grow old but on the other side of the coin, we are gaining moments and experiencing life.
The feature is paced and shot well although the dialogues could’ve been improved. The scope of the story is limited, but the movie does a decent job of presenting it. What helps The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is that it is self-aware of the trope within which it lies and at the same time doesn’t let its central theme be compromised.