Time Out is the perfect match to this weeks Daphne du Maurier tale of deception, The Scapegoat. Both are thrillers, but not in any typical way. Both focus on the overwhelming fear and terror of getting caught in a lie. In this way, we are drawn into Vincent's web of lies and the subsequent consequences completely, because who hasn't had the same fear of exposure over one of their own lies? Although, yours and mine may have been a bit less dramatic than losing our jobs and lying about it for months as he does in this film.
The character's sympathetic and recognizable struggle with office work today and the loss of self and personal time it can result in adds depth and meaning to his actions. One can see his elaborate deceptions as being lazy and irresponsible, but that doesn't mean we can't have compassion for his plight.
Director Laurent Cantet takes this identifiable story of a man fed up with the pressures and responsibilities of an unexamined life and weaves a really tense, hypnotic thriller around it. At every turn, suspense builds and you are sure something awful is about to happen. For example, in one scene he and his wife are taking a walk in a snow storm. He looses sight of her and he and we in turn feel the inexplicable panic that she is gone forever. The film portrays in inner chaos that accompanies deceit. The audience is forced to wait nervously for the house of cards to fall. When it finally does, and he accepts his responsibility, there is a moment of relief. This moment is brief. We soon realize that the nightmare of the life he hated before will begin again and his defiance against a boring, mindless life was all for naught.