A Trip to Infinity (2022)

Does infinity exist? Can we experience the Infinite? In an animated film (created by artists from 10 countries) the world's most cutting-edge scientists and mathematicians go in search of the infinite and its mind-bending implicat...
  • 6.9 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2022-09-27 Added:
  • Alex Ricciardi, Writer:
  • Jonathan Halperin, Drew Takahashi, Director:
  • Ivan Bess, Serin Marshall, Angus Wall, Producer:

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Trailer:

7 / 10

Mind-bending musings about infinity (and beyond?)

As "A Trip To Infinity" (2022 release; 79 min) opens, we are introduced to a group of smart, very smart talking heads including mathematicians, physicists, cosmologists, etc. And they start talking about what infinity is. One of them, applied mathematician Steven Strogatz, explains it by way of the story of The Infinite Hotel, as a cartoon plays out what Strogatz is talking about. At this point we are 10 minutes into the movie.

Couple of comments: this is co-directed by veteran documentarian Jon Halperin (who also co=wrote and co-produced this) and newcomer Drew Takahashi. The movie is divided into 9 Chapters and a Conclusion. There is of course no plot to speak of, and along the way we are confronted with seemingly simple questions like "can you go beyond infinity?", "is infinity real or a human invention", etc. The talking heads provide their perspectives, and I haven't a clue whether what they way is true or not. The fascinating thing is that their mind-bending musings are all accompanied by a montage of some sort, at times quite literally (see: The Infinite Hotel), at times very abstract. The original score is an intriguing electronic collage by newcomer Efrim Manuel Menuck. Can't wait to hear more where that came from. Bottom line: this is not your average documentary. I quite enjoyed it for what it was.

"A Trip To Infinity" premiered on Netflix earlier this week. If you are in the mood for something different altogether and don't mind that your brain might get scrambled a bit along the way, I'd readily suggest you check this out, and draw your own conclusion.

5 / 10

Nice Visuals, Weak on Content

As seems to be the norm for Netflix type so-called 'documentaries', visual presentation trumps content depth, breadth and clarity.

Too much on-and-on ramblings on common and minor aspects, and some screen time are just downright irrelevant and totally time wasting - like literally waiting for the train to pass as the interviewee just sat there.

Pertinent and more complex concepts on the other hand are quickly glossed over or just left hanging.

The whole attempt seems to hinge on decorating narratives around the visuals rather than the other way round. Visual quotas seem to be the priority regardless of relevance.

Overall - weak. Only for the very casual viewer of this otherwise highly interesting topic.

For viewers who are already familiar with the rudimentaries of 'infinity' from much better documentaries, give this a miss. Not worth your finite conscious time.

10 / 10

It was a brain food, want more like this

The never-ending curiosity to know the unknown is something that scientists devote their life. And infinity is one of the biggest of them.

When we talk about the existence of God and the end of infinity, it seems like we don't know; or maybe we have an infinite answer to it, yet we can't be so sure. It made me feel that every second of our life is crucial in the realm of infinity, where my existence is so tiny.

Apart from my philosophical under, the documentary was very thoughtful and insightful. It explains infinity from different perspectives. It felt like my brain was enjoying a good meal. The psychedelic animations and VFX were undoubtedly creative, aesthetic, and eye-soothing. Loved it!

7 / 10

Materials are thin but not inane

This documentary avoids some of the mistakes that physics documentaries usually make. The visuals take a lot of artistic license but they're mostly not inane and actually help us visualize certain concepts, the experts give a lot of one-liners but they don't feel too much like trolling us or just bantering (for the most part), the subject is open-ended but there's a focus to ponder over just that.

However, I wish the questions and cues were a little less of a shtick so that the experts could expound on the subject a little more, in their own ways - there are actually many of us who like to be intellectually challenged (those who are seeking for entertainment wouldn't even give this a shot anyway).

For example, when the experts are given a glass globe in their hands and asked about holding infinity, it's cute but a little cringey. In fact, Levin already points out that's not how infinity works, if it's truly infinity, we won't be having a comfortable bird's-eye view of it, it's just a very human-centric approach. Moments like these attempt to lure profound statements over something that's already very profound on its own. Instead, what may work better is that, with each example that the experts give, they could go a little deeper, discussing things like how they may try to prove it mathematically/experimentally, what are the limits, paradoxes, different theories on it, etc.

5 / 10

Not brilliant but at least politically correct

This documentary has several good moments and it has many weak moments. But its makers have been very conscientious about making sure the interviewees represent all genders, racial groups, and age groups. So give it a high grade for political correctness, wokeness, whatever you wish to call it. Of course, that has nothing to do with the science or mathematics of infinity. But, onward! It's a tough subject, to be sure. A real mind-stretcher of a subject. The documentary itself drifts toward vague statements and metaphors at times. And I fell asleep a couple of times while watching it. But there's a couple of moments that made me happy to be watching it... although the piece could easily have been 60 minutes instead of 80 minutes. It seemed overlong. Almost infinite.