There are some concepts in movies I just can’t get enough of, one of them is the manipulation of time. Whether it’s a story being told in reverse in Memento, travelling in time in Back to the Future, exploring various timelines in Mr.Nobody or getting stuck in time loops in Timecrimes, they always fascinate me. They can sometimes be difficult to grasp and challenge the viewer. It’s exactly that fact I love about them. Shuffle is a movie that I can add to this list as its time related premise is another unique one.
I heard about this on a podcast a while ago and heard this was directed by Kurt Kuenne. He was responsible for one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. It was a very moving documentary, which was extremely well edited. It was reason enough to see what he’d do with a feature film, one he has written, directed, and scored.
It’s about Lovell Milo (T.J. Thyne), who wakes up at a different age each day, never knowing where or when he’s going to be the next time he opens his eyes. So he can be a boy one day, an old man the next day and in his twenties the next one. He remembers the days before and has no idea why he is living his life out-of-order. His goal is to try to make sense of it all in the hope being able to stop it. This means remembering everything he experiences trying to find clues to solve it all.
Because this movie spans a whole lifetime it could have turned into a very confusing movie, but as you are watching this you never feel lost. Shuffle manages to make it very clear when Lovell wakes up and what his goals are. You join him on his journey and as he directly shares his feelings with the viewer you are along for the ride. The ride is very enjoyable and feels like something you would see on the Twilight Zone or Lost. You want to find out what’s happening and are constantly trying to guess what is going on and what will happen next. The movie has been shot on a relatively low-budget and in black and white, which might be off-putting for some, but I watch movies for their stories and this one offers a thrilling ride (although I had a small issue with the ending).
Looking at IMDB it hasn’t received many votes yet, but I do think this is one of those movies that could receive a bigger following through word of mouth. I really urge you to watch this as I see it as one of those undiscovered gems you can surprise others with.