Make some time for this relevant sci-fi

2011-10-31 00:00

IF I said In Time was a new-fangled Bonnie and Clyde fleshed out by JuJu-style revolutionary objectives, you might be intrigued. Perhaps even more so if you’re personally battling the financial implications of rampant capitalism, corrupt governments and municipalities. If I said In Time is a science fiction film where people stop ageing at 25 and the ownership of time presents the possibility of immortality, you might just think that this is a nefarious Hollywood plot to remove the sight of old and wrinkly people from the screen.

In Time is many things, expertly crafted by New Zealand-born director Andrew Niccol. You may know him through Gattaca, a clean and sharp science-fictioner that punched well above its weight. He was also part of the writing team of The Truman Show , which points to his penchant for relevant science-fiction.

In the world of In Time a clock is a wallet and time is the new currency. People earn time at work and then spend it on surviving, literally minute by minute. Time can also buy you commodities like beer or burgers, but of course, you’re trading your life. When time runs out you die. It’s our lives simply distilled, and society has become acutely stratified with different economic groupings living in different time zones. The wealthiest live in isolated luxury, gambling their centuries of time in games of poker while the poor beg at a mission for precious minutes.

It is in the poorest sector that we meet our protagonist, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), who inherits a substantial amount of time from a stranger tired of living for over a hundred years. Unfortunately, despite his fortune, he’s not quick enough to save his mother, who denied a trip on bus, dies running towards him on a lonely street. He resolves to challenge the iniquities of the system and heads into the world of opulence.

His revolutionary objectives bring him into contact with Sylvia Weiss (Amanda Seyfried), the daughter of the tycoon running the corrupted system. Will introduces her to a world made more meaningful through the absence of time and she joins him in his quest to bring down the system. All the while they are pursued by a relentless timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy). Despite all being youthful (although some older than 25), the cast is wonderful and in the expert hands of director Niccol, with an intriguing concept, the film delivers on many levels. ****

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