A weird but wonderful film, Slaughterhouse Five offers a unique look at time travel in a confusing but intriguing movie.
Based on the complicated book by Kurt Vonnegut (which I love), Slaughterhouse Five is a film that I expected to be just ok. The novel includes lots of jumping through time and has a strange satirical tone that I thought would be difficult to replicate. However in this film George Roy Hill does a great job on both fronts creating a film that is truly enjoyable and tells the story in a way that not only makes sense but captures the messages about war (and post traumatic stress) that Vonnegut puts across so clearly.
Billy Pilgrim (Michael Sacks) is a man who is ‘unstuck in time’; he is able to jump through and visit different points of his life but without any sort of control. This leads to a series of interconnected stories as we t we see Billy in WWII, as a successful optometrist/family man and abducted by aliens amongst other events. The film is bizarre at points, emotional at others but always interesting as you have no idea where he will end up next or what will happen, it is a unique film-watching experience and I find it astounding how much emotion is created from such a convoluted story.
What I loved most about this film however was its layers… it feels like a film you could watch over and over again, each time gaining something new. The base story is interesting to carry first time viewers through, but I feel there is much more below the surface to be found. It is a cult classic for a reason and much like the novel has hidden elements and meanings that work really well together.
As a first time viewer of the film I do feel that I cannot adequately review the film for what it truly is, but I know I will watch it again and am certain there will be a much more interesting review when I do.