I am always interested in movies on Time-Travel, whether it is the classics like Back to the Future (1985) and Primer (2004), or comedy attempts like the Portugal film Mother Knows Best (2016) and the Tamil film Indru Netru Naalai (2015). Today I saw See You Yesterday (2019) from Netflix.
What’s different about this film are the protagonists, two super-smart students, CJ and Sebastian. They are African-American, living in a black community that is affected by police brutality. The kids invent a time-machine for their school expo which will get them into one of the prestigious universities.
As you will expect in this genre, following the invention, one of the main characters encounters a personal tragedy that they will try fixing with the help of their invention. In this case, CJ’s brother gets killed by a mistaken shootout by the police. CJ will want to use the time machine to go back in time and prevent the murder, Sebastian warns CJ of the unintended consequences of messing with time, still, CJ persists and things become more complicated.
Eden Duncan-Smith and Danté Crichlow who have played the roles of CJ and Sebastian have done a great job.
There have been many American films covering gun violence in the poor neighbourhoods of USA, but this one subtly covers the trigger happy police especially when it comes to African-Americans and it hits you hard – that the world’s richest country, the sole super-power, the world police struggling to be friendly to one section of their society. More than time-travel, that was the key takeaway for me from this film by Director Stefon Bristol.
Available on Netflix India.