The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things surprisingly goes beyond a typical romance or sci-fi film. It operates on many things that are beyond both genres. The sci-fi element is just used to enhance the narrative and to prove a particular point. I believe that is the beauty of the film. Yes, it does talk about the temporal anomaly and a boy falling for a girl. These topics have been heard a million times before. But these notions are only used as a ladder to find the final destination. The final destination or the goal is about getting privy to a human instinct. A very basic one indeed. We don’t wanna let go. Human beings are not very receptive to transitions. We consider it as a hurdle. We don’t want to let go of people. It’s about facing the eternal truth i.e death. That’s our greatest fear but can also be our greatest driving force. It’s about accepting this eternal truth.
Kathryn Newton plays the character of Margaret and Kyle Allen plays Mark. Ian Samuels has directed the film and the screenplay has been written by Lev Grossman.
Mark wakes up in the morning and starts preempting whatever is going to happen or whatever any one is going to say. Firstly he seems like some kind of psychic but gradually we realize that it is something else.
He is stuck in a temporal anomaly. It is a kind of time loop where the events repeat itself everyday. It is as if time was put on hold. It is a kind of parallel reality. Alternate timelines are created and there is a disruption of spacetime continuity.
Mark is fully aware of the fact that he is stuck in this anomaly and that at midnight sharp he is transported back to the same day to start over again.
On one of these days, Mark notices a girl. He has doubts that she too is stuck in this anomaly like him. He follows her to get sure about the same. Margaret and Mark begin talking as they have such a bizarre common factor. They decide that they shall find all the perfect moments that are happening around them and list them down. Like an eagle catching prey from the river or a tennis ball hitting a bystander. As it is a loop these fascinating events happen again and again every day. Mark makes a map of the same listing down the exact time and location of the same. He feels that there is a pattern to it. He feels that something is missing. But is unable to find it.
Mark believes that if he crosses the timezone of his country then he would be able to exit the loop. He wants to exit it. He wants to move ahead in time. He wants to cherish each unexpected moment as it comes.
He takes a plane to Japan with Margaret but at the last moment, Margaret changes her mind. She leaves the flight and leaves Mark alone to fend for himself. What happens next just connects all the missing dots and the pattern finally reveals itself.
A Groundhog Day Rip Off?
It would be too harsh to say that it is a rip-off. In my humble opinion The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things might not be perfect but it is an earnest effort. It does touch you and at the same time abstains from obtaining any cheap laughs or entertainment. It winds its own spring and enters deep into a spectrum of emotions and time.
The best part about the film is that it cannot be quantified as sci-fi and neither a total romantic flick. It scavenges our fears. Could time be stopped at that opportune moment? This question has been asked by a majority of us. We know it can’t be. But merely entertaining the idea gives us chill.
Would life be as beautiful as it is now? What about the mere “uncertainty” that keeps the hope alive? The questions are many and the answer lies deep within us. In moments of solace when you can hear yourself breathe just pause everything for a moment and look around. Think in retrospect where you are and where you ought to go. And I am sure you will have an answer.
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things is an honest and surreal effort that tries to find an answer to its own question. It is as beautiful as the first drop of rain, but only if one knows the worth of it.
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