Tuesday, May 5, 2009


This is a common statement from some Primer critics. They have read a few ‘answers’ that they can see are full of errors. Unable to find answers, they conclude there is no solution to Primer. They contend that Carruth made the timeline so complex that anyone can say anything, that there is no true understanding. Has Carruth cleverly hidden plot flaws behind a smokescreen of intelligence? Is this movie a maze with no real exit? Why is everyone’s ‘solution’ online fraught with grave errors?

Consider the fact that if the plot were very simple instead of being complex, it would be hard for the audience to believe that Abe and Aaron were stuck in a loop unknowingly. The whole point of showing the film from Abe’s perspective is to give us his sense of trying to figure it all out. Nothing in the film breaks the rules established for time travel.

True, there is not a conservation of mass as there are two Abes at the same time. But, it is proven to the viewer that this is possible. Carruth shows that you can even interact with yourself. This is the basic foundation that is established. Be careful in making assumptions though. Not everything is as it seems.

For example, there are points in the film where one of the boys are the future version pretending to be their former self. You can become confused if you miss some of these turns in the timeline. Beware of the red herring. A smoked fish was used to train hunting dogs to follow a scent. Later, they must learn to follow the fox’s scent and not follow the fish scent, which is much easier to detect. Why do so many people follow that time travel must be the cause of the fungus? Probably, because Aaron has used the fungus to trick Abe. Abe believed it, so you did too. No one followed the fox.