Sunday, November 13, 2011

Movies: In Time

Time is money. This cliché is taken literally in the movie "In Time". The film (by Andrew Niccol ) describes a world where people could live forever and stay young all the time, but only if they are rich enough. The biological clock stops for everyone at the age of 25 and people stay then as they are. But this has a catch: Everyone gets just one other year of life time credited. Then the vital functions end abruptly, except one can earn, steal or borrow more time to live - no problems for the wealthy.

Therefore the minutes, hours and days to live are a currency in which everything is paid. A phone call costs a minute, a bus ticket an hour or two,  drinks in a bar can add up to a day, fancy hotels charge a month or more. Hookers sell you ten minutes for "an hour of your time". There are gangs on the streets, who rob life time, leaving  casualties dead on the ground. And everyone is around 25. It`s strange when your mother seems as old as your girlfriend.  

The film has lots of ideas to contemplate, but there isn`t enough time to develop the social, legal, economic and philosophical implications. This would need a huge book, probably in volumes. Instead Niccols, who also wrote the script, offers a very simple and naive view: The system, which is on the side of the "rich", controls the amount of time everyone has left and discriminates against the "poor". 

But anyway, the flick is entertaining. It has a hero and villains, action and even a car chase. The cast -  Amanda Seyfried, Justin Timberlake, Cillian Murphy and Vincent Kartheiser (from Mad Men) - does its job well.  "In Time" isn`t a masterpiece, but there are worse alternatives to waste time.

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