Thursday 19 January 2012

In Time

In Time (2011)

Director: Andrew Niccol

Writer: Andrew Niccol

Stars:  Justin TimberlakeAmanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy

Welcome to a world where time has become the ultimate currency. You stop aging at 25, but there's a catch: you're genetically-engineered to live only one more year, unless you can buy your way out of it. The rich "earn" decades at a time (remaining at age 25), becoming essentially immortal, while the rest beg, borrow or steal enough hours to make it through the day. When a man from the wrong side of the tracks is falsely accused of murder, he is forced to go on the run with a beautiful hostage. Living minute to minute, the duo's love becomes a powerful tool in their war against the system.

There are gaping holes in this setup, from the absence of even a gesture in the direction of an explanation for the origins of this state of affairs to the unworkably insecure technology itself: Everyone walks around with their current time balance showing all the time, and while time can be voluntarily transferred between people, it can also be taken by force, or even simply stolen while you sleep. No society could function like this. People need to be able to lock and unlock their time balances, and turn their readouts on and off. 

On the other hand, In Time offers intriguing fodder for thought on a number of themes: Besides the have/have-not divide and unjust systems that aggravate inequalities, Niccol contemplates our society’s glorification of youth and beauty, fear of death and fascination with immortality, and fear of ennui and the longing for death. Simplistic attempts at bettering the conditions of the poor may backfire, and the movie contemplates whether a sufficiently unjust system may call for direct action against the system itself.

Watch the trailer


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