If you are familiar with Spike Lee’s work, you know that every story he tells has a message so grounded in the reality that it makes you think about all the bad things happening in the world right now. Are his films entertaining? Hell yeah! Are they just for entertainment? Never! ‘See You Yesterday’ should be added to another film in the list where an interesting medium is used to tell a heart-breaking story that shoves you into reality. Directed by Stefon Bristol, who wrote the story with Fredrica Bailey, it might not be the best film on the “Black Lives Matter” issue, but it is good enough to warrant a watch. If you haven’t yet seen it, head over to Netflix.
Summary of the Plot
The film focuses on two genius teenagers who succeed in finding out a way to travel back in time. C. J (Eden Duncan-Smith) and Sebastian (Dante Crichlow) are best friends and “science bros” who have been working on a time machine so that they can exhibit it at an expo which will help them secure scholarships and maybe even be their way into a university like MIT. After a failed mission, they succeed in perfecting the machine but realise that it only gives them a window of ten minutes. For now, it feels enough for them to make their dreams come true. However, on the following day, C. J’s brother, Calvin (Astro) is shot dead by a white cop. This prompts her and Sebastian to use the machine to bring him back. However, playing with time comes with consequences.
Understanding the Time Travel
Had ‘See You Yesterday’ been purely about the science and the technicalities of time travel, we could have expected this section to be knottier. However, this film is more focused on the message that it wants to send and its investment in the intricacies of the space-time continuum is limited to one effect only- capturing the interest of the audience. Time travel is just a fancy wrapping to entice the viewers, while the content is a hard truth. Despite it being the secondary thing for plot support, the film tries its best to handle various paradoxes, successfully overcoming some while falling prey to others. The protagonists time-travel four times, and for science maniacs, this is enough matter to nit-pick all the flaws out of the theory. Also, three loops are enough to entangle your understanding of the events. So, if there is any confusion, allow me to help clear it. Let’s take this one loop at a time.