Swartacus’s review published on Letterboxd:
When I turned 30 years old (many, many moons ago), my wife threw me a surprise birthday party. It involved a cunning ruse where she was going to take me to a hockey game in St. Paul with my brother. However, first they insisted we stop at a sports bar in Maple Grove to meet some friends for a quick birthday drink.
The entire car ride I was wildly anxious, almost to the point of anger. I could not understand how we were going to do this and still drive all the way to St. Paul and make it in time for the start of this game. I had just gotten off work, made it home by 5:30 and now was being whisked away on this mad dash all over the metro. If you know me you know I hate being told what to do and where to go. So I am sitting here running math equations in my head about how we can drive 45 minutes in traffic across the river, find a place to park, eat dinner, and not miss any of this game. Fuck these guys at the bar, I can see them every weekend for the rest of eternity.
When we get to this sports bar, nearly everyone I know is in there in a room together. I found this funny, why would they all come here just to get one drink with me on a Friday night? Surely they have something better to do. I think they said “surprise!” at some point...but I really wasn't paying attention because I was dead set on grabbing one beer and beelining it the fuck out of there. I remember multiple times my wife saying - "are you surprised?" , "are you surprised?" and I just kept asking people when I could leave. Until my brother finally said - "DUDE we aren't going to the game!"
I was just so incredibly disappointed, and to this day I don't even know why. I didn't really care that much about hockey, it was just my mind couldn't untangle itself and have a good time after that. Ok...I did get blind drunk with my friends...but I wasn't that happy about it, damn it!
People get so wrapped up in expectation sometimes, they just can't live in the moment and enjoy a good temporal pincer movement. In the year 2020, we are all just living inverted and breathing through our masks so hard that we can't just stop and take in a daisy fresh protagonist like John David Washington. We have been so busy battling an enemy who uses ignorance as ammunition for the last 4 years that we can't allow ourselves the simple joy of a good cat and mouse game with Kenneth Branagh? You say you don't understand the mechanics of time and quantum physics? Well I don't understand your lack of affection for Kenneth Branagh chewing scenery!
Look, what's happened has happened...so take a long swig of 'ol grandpa's paradox and just enjoy it while your mind heals. Don't try to understand it, just feel it. The hockey game will always be there, but we live in a twilight world and there are no friends at dusk.