What if you were forced to relive a single hour of your life over and over again? What if your actions in life would have no long lasting consequences on the world, what would you do? Would you choose the life of a hero, leading the life of good, or would you indulge in the darker side of your mind, and throw morals out the window? These are the types of questions I believe writer/director Thomas Ikimi wants you to think about after you view his independent film LIMBO. The film, shot in contrasting black and white, is a tale of one man thrown into a moral quagmire when he enters the nothingness of limbo, a state between heaven and hell which provides no absolutes for anyone.

Adam Moses (Christopher Russo) is an attorney looking to make a difference in the world. He’s in the middle of a huge case which seems to bring out the true colors of everyone around him. Adam is summoned to a suspicious meeting about the case on a roof top where here’s gunned down by a hitman, only Adam doesn’t die. He enters limbo, and as he soon learns, he is forced to repeat the same hour of his life over and over again, almost as though the entire universe resets every 60 minutes. Adam believes that the hitman who killed him may hold the truth behind his stay in this state and seeks this Ouroboros out to find some answers. Along the way he meets the beautiful, yet mysterious, Rebecca (Etya Dudko) and a collective mix of other characters in his search for the truth. Most of the film is told via a flashback as Adam tells his story to Vaughn (Eric Christie), whom he saved from committing suicide, at least for the next 60 minutes.

Being shot in black and white, with the provided voice over, and nice, static camera angles the film has a great noirish look to it, almost a tone similar to the video game Max Payne. The use of light in the film adds a high level on contrast to the whites while the blacks offer the possible dark reaches of the human condition. All of this is captured eloquently be director of photography Jon Miller. Adam’s turmoil in limbo makes him question his own morality after repeating the same hour 2000 times he begins to lose his direction, and sanity. Through a brutal beating of a homeless man and the rape of a prostitute we see the two facets of Adam after saving Vaughn from his own hand. With the slate being whipped clean after every cycle, the question that presents itself is simple, are you doing anything wrong if no one gets hurt, at least in the long run?

As we’ve seen with previous independent films, like Kevin Smith’s Clerks, the use of black and white truly makes the audience focus on the characters rather than the set and everything else on camera. Like Clerks, Ikimi’s decision pays off with LIMBO as the character of Adam becomes the primary focus of the film as we journey with him through his never-ending life.

The use of handhelds in the film is very well done, for the most part. Handhelds, open up the possibilities of a director to devise new, unique shots due to the smaller size of the cameras, as opposed to full size recording devices. The only time when the use of a handheld seems over done in LIMBO is the montage near the end of the film as we move through the city to most of the movie’s principle locations. The film is sped up here as well and the constant bobbing of the camera leaves the audience disoriented as to what exactly is going on, or what Ikimi may be trying to get across to us as we reach the film’s climax.

Andrew David Daniels’ score fits in perfectly with the rest of this film as its high quality only adds to a great atmosphere. Filming on location, rather than blatant sets, also brings the audience into the film just like Broken‘s use of an actual location aided that film in setting the tone for the viewers.

The script itself is more cerebral that your standard Hollywood-fare, but the dialog is choppy in some spots. And some viewers may be a bit perplexed as to the ending of the film, or lack of an ending, for that matter, but I believe Ikimi wanted to leave the possibilities open and have the movie-goer decide the character’s ultimate fates.

Like the previously mentioned Broken, LIMBO is a thinking-man’s movie which is more focused on delivering a compelling story with an overall question for the audience to answer for themselves. LIMBO is another shinning example that maybe Hollywood is in such a slump because they think we are content with the same-old, same-old when we really want something new that presents to us new types of stories, stories with an IQ.

For anyone who gets a chance to experience LIMBO, jump at it, as the film comes highly recommended.

For more information on LIMBO, including production notes and trailers, visit the film’s official website at www.limbomovie.com.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!