Hindsight (In Real Time) [Tom Worrall, UK, 2017]
Hindsight (In Real Time) takes places in an alternate world where everyone knows when and how they are going to die. Peter Welles is the shy and introspective retail worker who receives a phone call from George Powell, a successful writer who is ready to accept the fate that awaits him and the man whom Peter must kill as part of this fatalistic and contractual arrangement. After saying his goodbyes to his mother, George makes his way to Peter’s home, full of energy and eager to make good on the deal, the spectre of a black-cloaked Death skulking in the near background.
In the hours leading up to the event, George tells Peter a little about the science fiction novel he has just completed in which he imagines a world where “oracles do not exist and no-one knows when or where they’re going to die”. He then intimates that he has always wanted to know more about the man with whom his fate lies, stealing the opportunity to take a crash-course in Peter’s life by embarking on a whirlwind house tour. In this world of normalised knowledge of their mortal fates, Peter seems particularly reluctant and troubled by the task which has been forced upon him, having never killed before and feeling empathy for the person he has come to know in such a short space of time.
Hindsight (In Real Time) is a brilliantly conceived sci-fi drama, a sombre and reflective tale with touches of acute wit and humour. In tone and imagination, the world Worrall invents bears a likeness to something from Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror (UK, 2011 –), managing to deliver a humanistic fantasy that feels plausible thanks to very solid central performances and incisive scriptwriting. It is a short film that shows great promise, and for Worrall we see a great future ahead.