11th Aug2023

Fantasia 2023: ‘Aporia’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Judy Greer, Edi Gathegi, Payman Maadi, Faithe Herman, Whitney Morgan Cox, Veda Cienfuegos | Written and Directed by Jared Moshé

Aporia is the second film I have watched in the last few weeks which has kind of tackled time travel but not been what most people would call a time travel movie. And that’s no bad thing. The first movie was the beautiful anime The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes. It was an excellent and interesting new take on time travel, and you can read my review for Nerdly here.

Aporia might feel a little bit more familiar – it has a slightly different take on The Butterfly Effect but it might just be as beautiful as the animated movie I have just mentioned.

The always reliable Judy Greer plays Sophie. A mother who since losing her husband (and father of their child) has struggled to be a good parent, to keep her full-time job and manage her own grief. But a close friend of her husband’s reveals that he might have just invented something that could bring him back to life but at the cost of someone else’s life. It’s a similar type of question or decision that comes up in many time travel movies but it is played out in a unique enough way here that it feels new and refreshing.

Like the best kind of thought-provoking sci-fi movies, you will be constantly putting yourself in the shoes of the main characters of Aporia. What would you do in their situation? How would you react to the things they experience? Aporia is thankfully very well written and you understand each and every decision that those characters make. Those three main characters are expertly written themselves and the actors are perfectly cast in the roles. It’s no surprise that Greer manages to be both relatable and sympathetic in the lead. She has shown time and time again that she is a great actor and continues to do so in Aporia. She shows heartbreak better than 99% of actors. Her husband is played by Edi Gathegi and he, alongside Payman Maadi make up the other two lead roles. All three have good chemistry and, as much of the movie contains scenes with those three or a variation of it, this is key to keeping the audience engrossed.

There’s no actual going back in time in Aporia, instead we just see the results of what has changed. As I said before, this isn’t particularly original – viewers have learnt from many previous sci-fi movies, that you can change one tiny thing in the past and it can have massive consequences in the present. Aporia is no different on the surface but it makes things feel much more real and relatable than most. Its message is obvious, everything we do, those ‘meaningless’ things, nearly always have meanings.

I really enjoyed Aporia. The well-written script comes across even better on screen with the great performances of the main cast. Aporia is an emotional and truly thought-provoking sci-fi hit.

**** 4/5

Aporia screened as part of this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival.


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