Limbo (2005) – By Duane L. Martin

Every once in a while a film comes along that’s weird and deep and actually makes you think. Recently, director Thomas Ikimi sent me a film that he had made called Limbo that he wanted me to review for the magazine. From the description he gave, I didn’t really know what to make of it. Let’s just say the description didn’t really do the film justice.

Limbo is the story of a lawyer named Adam Moses who refuses to be bought and paid for by a mob boss. Now unless you just fell off a turnip truck, you all know what mob bosses do to people who refuse to be bought off. That’s right. A hitman called Ouroboros was hired to take him out. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was sold out to the mob boss by one of the guys at his own firm. A guy he considered a friend.

So the hit goes down…but did it? He’s still alive…or is he? Yes he seems to be alive, but he soon discovers that he’s re-living the same hour over and over and over again. He’s not actually alive. The hit went down, and now he was trapped in Limbo.

Once Adam realizes what’s happening to him, he becomes obsessed with finding the killer and getting answers. Throughout his search, he occassionally meets people who are trapped in Limbo as well. Every hour, everything resets except them. Eventually he comes to realize that nothing he does has any consequence, and that’s where the really thought provoking elements of this film come into play. When there’s no consequence to your actions, you can do anything you want, because in an hour, it’ll all just reset anyway and it’ll be like nothing ever happened. Suddenly he becomes free to rape, murder, steal or anything else he wants to do, and none of it will matter after the hour passes and everything is reset to the way it was before. Over time, Adam finds himself of the brink of madness and starts giving in to the darker sides of human nature in an effort to release the pent up anguish he feels inside.

I won’t go any more into what happens in this film because it does have some surprises and I don’t want to spoil them. The thing about this film is that initially it doesn’t make much sense. As I was watching it, I kept hoping that it would eventually come together into something cohesive. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed, and it all came together nicely over the course of events.

The film is shot in high quality black and white and the great use of light and the excellent camera work and editing made this film a joy to watch. Everything about it was highly professional, except for one minor thing. There were a few voice over dubs that sounded like they were done in a studio and had no environmental ambience to them at all, which made them sound out of place. I know that sounds nit picky, but with the overall quality of the rest of the film, it was a bit disappointing.

This movie is actually quite long, but the way it’s edited and the way it plays out works quite well, and it doesn’t at any time really feel like it’s dragging or like it’s full of unnecessary or overly long scenes, so there’s nothing really tedious about this movie at all. It holds your interest, and as you watch Adam giving in to his darker sides and struggling with madness while still trying to retain some semblance of humanity is really an interesting thing to watch and really makes you think about how you’d be in the same situation.

Should you see this movie? Yes, it’s most definitely worth seeing. Right now the film is being shown at various film festivals, but hopefully it’ll see a full DVD release soon. You can find out more about the film by visiting the film’s website at http://www.limbomovie.com.