On Predestination and Paradoxes

” The By- Laws of Time…

…Never Do Yesterday What Should Be Done Tomorrow

If at Last You Do Succeed Never Try Again

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine Billion

A Paradox May be Paradoctored

It is Earlier When You Think

Ancestors Are Just People

Even Jove Nods….

…Then I glanced at the ring on my finger.

The Snake That Eats Its Own Tail Forever and Ever…I know where I came from-but where did all you zombies come from?”

What if time weren’t linear? What if our lives and the lives of our ancestors were intertwined in some curious way because time is circular, forming a loop? Just imagine it for a moment. One does not have to consider it from a theoretical point of view. I am only asking you to imagine it, like fiction, like science fiction. What if we were able to travel through time? Many of us have wondered what it would be like to have a reset or a rewind button where we could get a chance to revisit our lives and correct our mistakes. What if we were actually able to accomplish something like this? How would it change us? How would it affect time? How would it affect our situation in a particular time before or after the point of change? What would happen to our memories? Would we have remembrances of who we were in another possible future, or would that be an incoherent logic because such future would have never happened?

Ever since H.G. Wells conceived and wrote “The Time Machine”, time travel has become an indelible part of science fiction. It was received with enthusiasm by the writing community and now, appears to be a particular favorite of movie directors. It is a difficult genre to execute, but when its done right, the results are astonishing. Spierig Brothers’ (Michael and Peter Spierig) “Predestination”, a movie adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1959 classic short story “-All You Zombies-“, is a surprise flick in the science fiction genre. Surprise, because it is not accompanied by fancy CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) or a Nolan-like layered narrative. It is a complicated story, about a paradox created by recurrent time warps by a temporal agent (time travelling cop), in search of the elusive ‘fizzle’ bomber. Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook are brilliant in their respective roles. The dark and dreamy atmosphere of a 70s bar, with an old man struggling with an old jukebox playing in the back ground, sets the necessary imagery to the quintessential symbolism of the protagonist’s ring- A Snake That Eats Its Own Tail, Forever and Ever. Science Fiction is more than grandiloquence and mind-bending riddles. It is the great psychological ‘What if!’.¬†The movie itself, is like the title of the story it borrows from- a phrase from the middle of a sentence, at the end of the story. Surreal and sublime.

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