Timothee Review

Genre: Sci-Fi/Experimental
Year Released: 2021
Distributor: The Critics Company
Origin: Nigeria
Running Time: 12 minutes
Rating/Recommended Audience: 13+
Related Films/Series: N/A
For Fans Of: Z: The Beginning, Equilibrium, Akira, Chase, Hancock, Kyle XY
Notes: Timothee is streaming on YouTube.
Fun Facts:
-It took 2 and a half months to film Timothee with The Critics Company.

-At the time of this review, The Critics Company has 99.8K followers on its YouTube channel.

It has been a long time since I’ve reviewed anything from the upstart film collective known as The Critics Company. This group of Nigerian filmmakers had their works featured on Iridium Eye before with Chase and Z: The Beginning. They’ve been getting so much traction since then, got some professional equipment, still making video projects, and have been getting more exposure for their works. I haven’t posted three reviews at a time on Saturday in a long time, but I think this could be a great closer for my Black History Month project. I would like to thank The Critics for reaching out to me to let me know about their latest film.

This is the first movie I’ve seen that was made in 2021. Will this be another quality work from this dedicated group of moviemakers from Northern Nigeria? Let’s find out.

Timothee involves a strange person with the same name. He’s from another planet but is currently somewhere in Northern Nigeria where he has no memories of his former home. He meanders around while also getting into criminal activity such as attacking others or pickpocketing. Things start to change when the police catch up with him and eventually find someone who knows about his origins after being a victim of an explosion.

I forget if I said this or not with my reviews of The Critics’ colder films I covered, but if I did, then this bears repeating: If they can make all those special effects and epic cinematography, then I can’t wait to see what they could do with professional equipment. Boy, did Timothee REALLY deliver in that regard. If I saw this without any experience of seeing some of their previous projects, then I would never be able to tell that these were the same group of auteurs who made sci-fi and superhero movies with broken smartphones back in their early catalog. This was a quantum leap in visual production like seeing Makoto Shinkai’s Voices of a Distant Star right before seeing The Place Promised In Our Early Days. The camera work is smooth and could rival Hollywood productions and the CGI used (especially the spaceship) puts their previous attempts at computer graphics to shame. I also liked some of the effects with the eyes changing colors or even the filters used during the alien planet scenes. The acting was good in its own right with the vocal inflections and facial expressions of the characters. There was definitely more of an experimental storytelling vibe with the alternating timelines and the more ambiguous feeling of the film. While it’s not an arthouse project, there are still some artsy vibes even with the action and sci-fi setting presented. The Critics have easily improved with their usage of special effects, acting, and plotting which is a huge plus.

Timothee does have some shortcomings that need to be addressed. I noticed subtitle typos and errors with the dialogue. Some of them clearly don’t match what’s being said (most of the dialogue is in English anyway), and I know spell check would’ve picked up on some of those mistakes. There was also a lack of development with certain characters outside of the title protagonist. Speaking of Timothee, I thought some of the stuff he did was random. While part of his actions made sense with him not knowing about his interstellar origins which makes sense, him popping up and attacking others felt like he was trying to be someone in a horror movie. They could’ve explained a bit more even with just a few sentences of dialogue. Since this was filmed during COVID-times, I could see this becoming an unintentional period piece in the near future like how the cops wore masks when they were chasing Timothee around. In Nigeria’s defense, at least they have NOWHERE near as many cases and deaths compared to America (153,842 cases and 1885 deaths at the time of this writing…my home state alone has exponentially more people who caught the Rona than that whole country!), but I could see this being glaringly obvious where one can tell this was filmed during 2020 and 2021. Watching this with COVID glasses, I did kind of wonder why certain characters didn’t wear masks on at certain parts of the movie unless Nigeria had more lenient rules during this pandemic. It’s certainly weird watching various films or series in these times as Coronavirus has certainly affected what I watched (See my reviews of Sunderland ’Til I Die 2 and especially Weathering With You for specific examples).

This latest offering from this film collective is a solid watch and well worth the twelve minutes. The cinematography and visuals are astounding with it looking higher budget than one would ever expect. The ambiguous elements really add to the mystery of the title character. I do wish some parts of the story would be tightened up as well as better handling of the subtitles for the dialogue. Timothee is another quality entry into the works of The Critics Company and I can see things looking up for these filmmakers. Both Nollywood and Hollywood need to watch out for these talented people.

Adjustable Point System:
-Add 1 point if you like sci-fi projects.
-Add 1 point if you’re a fan of The Critics Company.
-Subtract 1-3 points if you want a longer story.

-Amazing visual production with professional equipment
-Very good acting
-Nice soundtrack

-Subtitle typos and grammar errors
-Timothee’s motivations can be confusing at first
-Clearly made during COVID times with the masked cops which could date itself

Final Score: 8/10 points

Content Advisory: Timothee is best for teens and up. There’s a warning with blood happening in this short film and it’s both red and blue with the latter coming from an alien. Said alien character also gets a leg blown off which is very gory. Timothee’s character can get creepy like him popping up while giving a sadistic smile before attacking a passerby with bloody hands. Besides that, there’s no swearing, no nudity, or sexual content.

All videos and photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws. Timothee is property of The Critics Company. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of The Critics Company.

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