I’ve made peace with the fact that if there is a movie in Fantasia that deals with time travel, I’ll end up reviewing it. In fact, nowadays I look forward to it. This time the concept starts simple, but as all time travel movies with a loop, gets really complex. Wrapping your head around how this was conceived, and much less filmed, is a bit of a puzzle. Planning has to be meticulous, the camera rarely if never breaks away from the action, and you do wonder if you’re really seeing the actors act in a loop or the filmmakers have a real time machine.

Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes (2021) is directed by Junta Yamaguchi and written by Makoto Ueda. Kato (Kazunori Tosa) is a humble owner of a cafe that doesn’t really think about the future. One night, he’s done for the day and heading to his appartment upstairs when a voice calls to him from his monitor – his very own. And so begins a carefully constructed time loop that will involve his friends and co-workers as well as Megumi (Aki Asakura), the woman who works in the barbershop next door and who Kato has a crush on.

I’m going to keep this really short because discovering what’s going on, which doesn’t require to know how it’s going on, is half the fun. The other half is how contrived can things get, specially when stretching the concept all the way it can go. It’s quite a feat from almost every perspective, with very long single takes taking us from one scene to the other. Eventually you know something’s going to give, but how exactly the movie decides to resolve its own conundrum is not as important as how much thought it has put into keeping it consistent. I say this because the resolution is kind of cheating but I understand they needed to put something to stop it.

Highly recommended for time travel enthusiasts. It’s one of those movies that will take a simple concept of a time shift and stretch it out for your curiosity and enjoyment. Starting casual and going into the more contrived, this one should satisfy couch scientists and movie aficionados with their own theories about time. In the end, this is however more entertaining and enjoyable in execution than theory. You’ll get the concept soon enough, but you’ll stay for the comedic chaos. Very much worth a watch.

That will do for now.