Inside Out 2024 Review: SPARK Has Spark

Contributing Writer; Montreal
Inside Out 2024 Review: SPARK Has Spark

Directed by Nicholas Giuricich, Spark is an interesting twist on a classic timeloop theme.

Aaron (Theo Germaine) finds himself reliving the same day: being woken up by his friend and roommate Dani (Vico Ortiz), going on a birthday scavenger hunt with a handsome stranger (Danell Leyva), sleeping with said stranger, repeat. What seems to trigger the cycle is sex.

Once Aaron gets his bearings, sometimes they make it to the actual birthday party the scavenger hunt was the prelude to, sometimes they go for food the next day. What remains constant is Aaron's efforts to maximize the timeloop, finding out the likes and dislikes of Trevor to seduce him more.

The beginning was a bit cliche. The middle was riveting. It is hard for the viewer not to get invested in this film about romance, one's own needs, the inability to break behavioural patterns or force others to act as we would like them to. It's quite funny, too. Vico Ortiz particularly shines in their performance. There are some logistical issues with the plot as it thickens, but I find them forgivable in service of the larger themes, and in light of the wonderful execution.

Trevor's character, as we learn more about him, becomes more compelling. I would not mind watching another timeloop movie with his story as central. As a side note, with Spark fitting somewhere between a romance and a genre film, it must be said that the naturalized presentation of trans and on-binary characters was very much appreciated by this critic.

What wasn't: the ending. It was slightly disappointing, in that it undermined the conclusion it was building towards. However, Spark is worth a watch as a refreshing twist on the timeloop movie, and a true reflection about inability of the self in the arena of romance. It's also fun.

The film enjoys its world premiere at Inside Out in Toronto.

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Danell LeyvaInside Out 2024Nicholas GiuricichTheo GermaineVico Ortiz

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