Russian Master Andrei Tarkovsky named his autobiography ‘Sculpting in Time’ as he had an eternal fascination for cinematic time. As we know from a multitude of movies using time travel and time loop as plot devices, cinematic time, or the time we experience while watching a movie, can be bent, squeezed or stretched. Based on the filmmaker’s insights and imagination, such movies can run for infinite running time, hypothetically.
But, the humongous popularity and fan following of time-related movies owes to their cryptic structure and tricky endings. Movies like ‘Naked,’ ‘The Endless,’ ‘Doctor Strange,’ ‘The Infinite Man,’ ‘Looper,’ ‘Déjà Vu,’ ‘Run Lola Run,’ and ‘Back to the Future Franchise’ used time as a stunning plot device to keep is on the edges of our chairs till the end, and grill our brains for weeks after watching them.
‘Edge of Tomorrow’ stands apart from the above-listed movies for its weird plot structure, which reminds us of a combat video game. The movie also leaves us on a cliffhanger as it ends on a cryptic shot. There are many interpretations for the open ending climax scene. The most prominent among them is the time loop theory and the movie narrative’s similarity to video games. ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ never uses time loop for an ostentatious purpose of a gimmick, but as the core of the plot. In that sense, ‘Edge of tomorrow’ makes the form of the movie its content and content of the movie is its form, cryptic, isn’t it?
If you had happened to bought the home video format of ‘The Edge of Tomorrow,’ you would be familiar with the title, ‘Live. Die. Repeat.’ The makers choose to release the movie in an alternative title, which hints at the theme in a more explicit way. Released in 2014, ‘The Edge of Tomorrow,’ aka ‘Live. Die. Repeat’ is set in the near future. Directed by Doug Liman, from a screenplay written by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth, the movie based on a 2004 Japanese light novel, ‘All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.’
When ‘The Edge of Tomorrow’ opens up into a dystopian Europe invaded by the mighty alien forces, Mimics in the year 2015. World nations form a United Defense Force (UDF) to fight back. By 2020, the UDF manages to push the alien forces back and grab a crucial victory in Verdun. The British UDF General Brigham assigns Major Cage, played by Tom Cruise, a talking head working in the public relations without any combat experience, to cover an operation in France called ‘Project Downfall.’