SF drama When Time Becomes a Woman is an award-winning film debut of Jordanian director Ahmad Alyaseer. The author and his crew chose an interesting approach to make a science fiction movie on a low budget. At its heart, it is a thoughtful and tragic plot narrated in a minimalistic style.
Review by Wasa
February 24, 2013
Director: Ahmad Alyaseer
Ahmad Alyaseer and Rana Alyaseer
Najwan Baqaeen as The Woman
Zaid Baqaeen as Zad
The Woman: “Everyone shapes reality according to their own wishes. In order to escape its flaws.”
On a peaceful seashore, a man finds a woman he’s been searching for three years. Zad says he knows her, but she does not recognize him. He soon reveals a reason why he came. The end of the world is near and she is the only person who can save it, but to do that she has to go with him.
Zad’s persuasion turns into a discussion about trust, truth, and responsibility. Eventually, we learn about his history, about decisions he made, which lead to a great disaster, his attempt to correct his mistakes, and why the fate of the world lies in hands of the woman.
The movie revolves on a sense of intimacy the actors Najwan Baqaeen and Zaid Baqaeen manage to create in their exchanges. You get the feeling that two, in spite of the woman’s protestations to the contrary, go back a long way.
Interview with Ahmad Alyaseer, the Director of the Movie When Time Becomes a Woman
Moreover, despite the fact that there is very little action in the movie, there is a very palpable tension between the characters. The dialogs, though at times self-referential and even philosophical, are engaging and feel genuine. What’s more, they are fraught with undercurrent pain and regret.
Furthermore, the movie plays on dualities. The Woman’s point of view, as shown to us, is about peacefulness, stillness, nature. The man’s tale is about action, devastating destruction, and advanced technology. Everything he talks about is out there on the horizon – on land beyond our reach. Neither the Woman nor any of us can see it.
In effect, the film’s dynamic comes in equal part from what we see on screen and from what the dialogs prompt us to imagine. And much of the impact of the movie comes from the viewer filling in the unseen, or only hinted at, details as the movie unfolds towards a final resolution.
The music, by turns soothing and unsettling, underscores the plot beautifully. The location too – breathtaking shores of the Dead Sea – creates a sense of tension being at once isolated and serene and yet bare and desolate.
On the whole, When Time Becomes a Woman is a film that implicitly trusts the viewer to engage in the act of creation and become a kind of active participant in the plot. It begins as a story of two individuals and slowly builds up to a metaphor for our very survival. In light of that, to call When Time Becomes a Woman a true science fiction movie seems not only accurate but absolutely essential.