When Ignorance is Bliss

Watch it on Netflix

Here’s a blog post I wrote during my first attempt at a blog a few years ago. You can still catch the film on Netflix.:

I just finished watching an indie film called TiMER a little while ago that made me think. For those of you who haven’t seen it (mostly likely everyone reading this), here is the storyline according to IMDb:

When implanted in a person’s wrist, a TiMER counts down to the day the wearer finds true love. But Oona O’Leary faces the rare dilemma of a blank TiMER. Her soul mate – whoever and wherever he is – has yet to have a TiMER implanted. Staring down the barrel of thirty and tired of waiting for her would-be life partner to get off the dime, Oona breaks her own rules and falls for Mikey, a charming and inappropriately young supermarket clerk with a countdown of four months.

Early in the film, I immediately identified with Oona. My 30th birthday is right around the corner, and I still haven’t met my “soul mate” (or have I?). I have had my share of disappointments, so I can understand feeling frustrated and tired of waiting. Finally, I can absolutely relate to wishing there were some way to know without a doubt whether a particular relationship were meant to be before investing so much time and emotion.

At first, the TiMER seemed like a great idea. It would completely take the pressure off in dealing with the opposite sex… or would it? The underlying question seems to be whether knowing the future — in this case, your romantic future — is worth it. Would it make you any happier? To seriously consider these questions, you would obviously have to accept ideas such as the existence of soul mates and, ultimately, fate and destiny. That, however, is another topic for another day and another film.

But, before I continue with this discussion, I have to admit that I have been known to check my horoscope daily, and I have even paid for long term forecasts (Don’t judge me!). I, like Oona, feel a lot of anxiety regarding the future, and I suppose it is somewhat comforting to have some insight, even if it does come in the form of vague or cryptic horoscopes that may or may not be accurate. But, that is why I found this film so interesting; it made me question my own beliefs and fears.

Although the protagonist struggled with not knowing her romantic future, other characters in the film struggled with knowing the future and feeling helpless to change it. Her brother had his TiMER go off when he was only a child, and with the most unlikely person. Her sister, on the other hand, had a TiMER that was set to go off when she would be much older. In neither of these cases did knowing the future make life any easier. In fact, it created more complications than it was worth. Oona, however, was no better off; she began a relationship that made her happy, only to spoil it by constantly questioning whether it was real and not giving it a fair chance.

That brings me to my next point, which is that knowing the future would inevitably affect the way you view and live in the present. And what if that knowledge made your present less meaningful in some way? Who would be brave enough to enter a relationship that he or she knew for a fact were doomed, while waiting to meet his or her soul mate? On the other hand, if you chose not to, you might be alone for a long time, which could arguably be more painful than heartbreak.

Finally, as cliche as this may sound, what is there to hope for, when the future is known? I feel certain that if I had known how some of my relationships were to turn out, I would not have entered them with hope and excitement. I probably would have avoided them and thereby avoided the pain of loss, disappointment, and betrayal. But, I also would have missed out on much more. I would not have had the amazing experiences that these failed relationships provided me. I would not know how it feels to love or be loved, nor would I have learned so much about myself or human relationships. Most importantly, I would not have had as much fun in my life as I have had. Would I readily give all this up for the chance to know some date that may or may not make me happy? I am not ready to answer this question, but thankfully I don’t have to, because it is not an option.

This is not at all intended to be a review, but I would recommend watching the film, as it is entertaining and original. While it is not Oscar-worthy, it did make me think, which is what any art should accomplish.

[On a personal note, I have decided to stop checking my horoscope.]

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About Paola Maldonado

Mobile Developer @BuzzFeed. Co-founder of NYC Tech Latinas. Follow me: @PaolaNotPaolo

Posted on February 12, 2013, in Life, Love, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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