What if we could live forever, being able to last a thousand years in our twenty-something-year-old bodies? This is an intriguing premise but perhaps a little ageist.
In Time is one of those films about a future where people trade, buy, loan and sell time — where time is literally money.
Imagine having to trade a day of your life to stay in a hotel overnight, or five minutes for a bus ride? Would this make you analyse how we use it? Or would it create a hierarchical society where the rich could live for thousands of years and the poor had to beg, borrow or steal time in order to survive?
Director Andrew Niccol introduces us to a world where people are born with glowing clocks on their arms that count down to zero at age 25. If your “arm clock” runs out, your heart stops.
Justin Timberlake stars as Will, who sacrifices his own existence for a family member as the film opens. This turns him into a “time bandit” — stealing from the rich and giving back to those who need it.
Will woos heiress Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) while eluding a “Timekeeper” cop (Cillian Murphy) all while stealing Sylvia’s father’s vast time wealth to re-distribute it to those who need it most — Bonny and Clyde-style.
Although the film quickly devolves into an extended chase film (and one of those experiences that isn’t quite as satisfying as it should be) the grand metaphor is worthy of many discussions.
It’s a slice of sci-fi social commentary that is solidly paced even if the acting and dialogue that don’t quite convince.
First published in Insights magazine