A sad-sweet glistening star of a time travel movie—from Spain—on Netflix. Although Mirage doesn't break any new ground in time travel, it offers an endearingly memorable story, and takes its place as a vivid parable on the dangers of changing the past.
The set-up is reminiscent of Frequency: A boy who makes videos is killed by a car in 1989, as he tries to escape from a man who just killed his next-door-neighbor. Years later, in our present, there's a savage electrical storm in the same place, much like the storm that hit just as the boy was killed in 1989. A young mother who has just heard the story of the boy from other neighbors turns on her television, and finds she is able to talk to the boy, who is looking at his television in 1989. She warns him not to run out into the street. Back in 1989, he heeds her warning. In the present, the mother wakes up the next day to find some changes: The boy survived, but she has no daughter, and her husband has no idea who she is. A butterfly effect par excellence is unfolding.
The mother, who gave up her medical career to be a mother, is a surgeon in this new reality. She's highly intelligent and logical, and is intent on getting her daughter and husband back, without sacrificing the boy, who is now a man. She's determined not to let anything get in her way. One big question is where is the boy who now is a man? There's a neat solution to this puzzle, which I almost guessed.
Adriana Ugarte does a fine job as Vera Roy, the mother/surgeon. It was good to see Álvaro Morte who played the "professor" in La casa de papel on the screen again, and Chino Darín as a police inspector was good, too. The cinematography and music are captivating. Unraveling unwanted consequences of time travel is one of the toughest things to do convincingly. Mirage does this well, which in my book means respecting all the possible paradoxes of time travel and changing the past.