It is 8:00 pm on any given day and the lives of the diners at the Bácora restaurant, from that moment on, will be in danger. Nobody knows, except Joaquín Lara’s interlocutor (Osvaldo de León). The successful businessman is sitting at a table on the second floor with his ex-girlfriend, Nina Nadal (María Fernanda Yepes). The meeting ends up being the opposite of what each one expected. They are about to leave, but they don’t end up going through the door.
An anonymous text message, warning Joaquin that he will kill Nina if he leaves the restaurant, marks the beginning of a latent tension that will be felt throughout Timeline, the recent film by Antioquia director Yesid Leone.
Barely a few minutes have passed since that first message, which is the execution of a plan in search of justice. They are all suspects and also victims. The clock is ticking and acting according to the interlocutor’s indications is pressing.
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Giving more details about the tape is ending the illusion of guessing who is possibly responsible of the plan that puts customers, waiters, bartenders and administrative staff at the Bácora restaurant, where the entire film takes place in a fraction of the night.
“The interesting thing about the film is its narrative, which is different from what we commonly see in Colombian cinema”, Yesid Leone.
Timeline is a Colombian production, more punctual in Medellín, which manages to generate uncertainty and stress, while there is action and a lot of rhythm, thanks to the script that knows how to go back and forth in time in a fragment of an hourwithout losing the characters and the plot.
“What is interesting about the film is its narrative, which is different from what we commonly see in Colombian cinema. It is pure action, a genre little explored in the country”the director and also screenwriter of the film told EL TIEMPO.
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Getting it to become a story with a lot of movement and that happens in less than an hour was the main challenge for Leone and the cast headed by Yepes (Rosario Tijeras and Maria Magdalena), Of Lion (without your look) and Roberto Escobar (desert lovers).
“The hardest thing about making an action movie is always going to be the versatility and pacing of the scenes. A highly studied, structured and prepared dynamic is required. It is as if it were a choreography”, adds Leone.
To achieve this, they were locked up for three weeks in the Cuon restaurant, in Medellín, which became the main location and became Bácora. It was a demanding shoot that demanded the attention and synchronization of the entire cast..
In addition to talking with the director, EL TIEMPO spoke with María Fernanda Yepes, who makes her debut in Colombian cinema in a production from Medellín, her hometown.
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How does it feel that your first film in Colombia was shot in Medellín?
It was incredible because it was the first time that I recorded for cinema in Medellín. She had only done it for television with Rosario Scissors. I read the script and I found it very interesting, it’s timeless, it’s not your typical script. And although the story takes place in Medellín, it can happen anywhere in the world, in any language. Also, it was a project that came to me in 2021, just when I had just gone through a difficult health episode due to covid. I had to give up a Colombian production because of the subject, I was downgraded and the proposal appeared.
Besides being a timeless script, what else stands out to the story?
The interceptions in time, how to play with time. Until the end the tension remains and all the characters are suspects and victims at the same time. In the last minutes, the film ends and we understand the reason for the circumstances. I also liked it because the story touches on a hot topic, which is organ trafficking, and gives it visibility.
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Not only organ trafficking, but also corruption, a very common issue in Colombia…
The great cancer of Latin America is corruption. And the film touches on the subject by showing how influences move through power and money.
Let’s talk about his character. In different interviews, you have assured that you only accept roles with which you connect with the energy of the person you are going to play. Obviously, what I can tell without damaging the story…
I liked the duality of the character, why he did what he did because of his past. I found the development of him throughout the timeline interesting. I cannot give more details because I know spoilea the history.
What was the most difficult thing about filming?
All the recording was done at night, we worked until dawn. He was exhausted. It was also a challenge not to reveal the truth of the character. Maintain Nina’s duality.
Is this a different film from traditional Colombian commercial cinema?
In Colombian cinema they have always shown us a reality and it is good to explore other stories as we do in Timeline. That was what I liked about the film, that it has suspense, action, that you have to think, be very attentive to all the sequences of what is happening. This is a production that has to compete with big movies.
What’s next for you? Do you want to continue exploring in the cinema or continue with television?
I’ve been a little withdrawn since 2019, when I did a stop in my career. It was after Mary Magdalene, like my last big TV character. I was coming from a very exhausted rhythm and I got tired. I needed to live. I had completely abandoned my personal life. I want to keep working, but as long as interesting female characters come to me. For me it is important to interpret characters that empower women, take them out of the cliché, leave them on top. So if those characters arrive, welcome. While I am calm, living in the countryside, with a personal project with my partner in the Sierra Nevada. This race is frantic, I appreciate everything, but I must admit that it stunned me a little.
NATALIA TAMAYO GAVIRIA
On Twitter: @nataliatg13