A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mirage (also known as Durante la tormenta) is a 2018 Spanish language film (with English subtitles) about a woman trapped in a time warp that takes her from her husband and child and deposits her into another reality. A murder and cover-up are central to the plot, and some blood is seen. Adults have extramarital encounters but no nudity is shown. Profanity is sparse: a few uses of the word "f--k." Two people struggle with a knife-wielding attacker. A man cuts up a body offscreen with power tools. Later the skeleton is found buried in a suitcase. Adults smoke cigarettes.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
MIRAGE combines a murder thriller with a time-travel, alternate-universe story in which Vera (Adriana Ugarte), a happily married woman, moves into a new house with her husband, David (Alvaro Morte), and young daughter, Gloria (Luna Fulgencio). A nurse now, Vera left medical school to raise her daughter. On a stormy night paralleling a similar stormy night 25 years ago, Vera connects to a monitor and video camera left by her new home's previous owners. This puts her in touch with a 1989 12-year-old boy (Joel Illescas) -- someone who knew her husband -- and leads to information about a murder across the street that indirectly caused the boy's death. She catches the boy just before that fateful moment, warning him to avoid the truck that will hit him. In this universe, he lives to accuse his neighbor of murder. But when trapped in that reality herself, Vera learns she is a neurosurgeon who neither married nor had a child. Desperate to persuade people in this new reality to help her return to her own reality, she meets a skeptical cop (Chino Darin) and others concerned about her sanity. She's also now bent on helping police solve the murder as she searches for a route back to the life she preferred, which requires she "re-create conditions" of that time, a daunting concept for even the pluckiest of heroines.
Is it any good?
Like many movies about time travel and supposed wrinkles in the time-space continuum, this one doesn't always conform to its own invented internal logic at times, but somehow it remains interesting. Where exactly has Vera been deposited? Into the past? Into the future? A parallel universe? Compelling performances by Adriana Ugarte and Chino Darin keep the bumpy plot going, and mature teens may find the confusion to be part of the fun.
At one point, a character makes a timeline to understand what's going on, but even that attempt at clarification doesn't explain why characters' ages seem to be off. Adults 25 years later look the exact same age, while a boy from 1989 has somehow matured to adulthood. Vera speaks of seeking a gate to the "past," but in her new reality she doesn't seem any older than she did in her other reality. Mirage's spoken message is that "nothing proves anything," perhaps not a conclusion some parents would find appropriate in an era in which faith in institutions is being undermined worldwide.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the possibility of time travel. Do you think it's possible now, as Mirage suggests? Do you think it might be possible some day?
If you could travel in time, where would you go, and why?
At one point a character talks to his younger self. What would you tell your younger self if you had a chance to have that conversation?
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