BLUNDERKIND is a short film from 2011 that was written and directed by Zak Mechanic. It follows the story of two main characters, Henry Jameson and his friend George. The main themes of the film are time travel and friendship. Henry, as a child genius, builds a time machine and sends George two decades into the future. Upon running into him twenty years later, Henry realizes that he needs to make another time machine and send the twelve-year-old George back to the eighties, where he came from.
This smart and interesting sci-fi comedy starts with a quick, narrated montage depicting Henry’s early life. Reminiscent of similar montages in such films as MAGNOLIA (1999) and AMELIE (2001) it serves as a quirky foundation on which the rest of the story can be built. This is integrated with a variety of cool animations and fitting sound effects. There is a staggering amount of detail packed into every shot of the film, a real testament to the effort contributed by every member of the crew. The faded and vintage looking cinematography of the earlier scenes contrasts well against the brighter and more vivid future scenes, creating a visual distinction between these two elements of the film. The almost cartoonish sound effects create an intriguing sense of heightened reality that engages the viewer and compliments the film’s visual vibrancy.
The subtle camerawork creates dynamic shots without distracting the audience’s eye from what is happening in the frame, while the frequent narration provides an adequate overview of each major plot point. The story flows well, however, due to the complexity of the subject matter and the shortness of the film (twenty minutes) such rapid storytelling might make the narrative a little hard to follow at times. Possibly requiring repeat viewings, although I can’t imagine anyone wanting to complain about that. The funny and sharp dialogue flows well and aids the narrative’s delivery, preventing it from being at all boring, which is a risk when working with any scientific based storyline.
Time travel can be quite a challenging topic to work with and there is a slight technical flaw regarding the film’s plot. The classic time travel paradox that if George had been sent back from the future (which he is eventually) then the grown up Henry would never have run into him. However, this mistake does not make the film any less entertaining or interesting. A solid effort, and a great modern example of original and artistic filmmaking.Blunderkind,