For our anniversary date last week, my husband and I went to see “In Time.”
From the first time we saw the preview, we were both struck by the concept of this movie, a world in which time actually IS money, and where, when you run out of currency, your time is up.
These people are born with a clock on their forearm, one which they consult all the time as we would a watch. Everyone’s clock has one year. Barring some kind of accident, everyone lives until 25, and then the clock starts ticking. That means that children are completely dependent on their families until that age because until their clock starts they have no access to currency. People borrow against their time. Workers are paid in time. People have the ability to transfer time into storage devices, but also directly to each other, allowing them to trade and share time, but also to steal it.
The movie didn’t disappoint at all. It’s the kind of thing you can just watch as a sci-fi action movie and really enjoy for it’s more surface aspects, but it’s also the kind of thing where you can reflect on the broader issues it raises, take home and play with the idea of people with power manipulating the economy to keep us all in our place, that as long as They have the power to create inflation, They have the power to limit our ability to better our lives and safeguard their own power and lifestyle.
The world-building was really exceptional. They did an excellent job setting the characters in this society, with tweaking the language with new phrases they would use, with getting into their heads and characterizing the differences between people who were racing to stay alive vs. people who, literally, had all the time in the world.
And the romance gets a thumbs up.
In the story, an honest young man who wants more but is just trying to survive, has his life changed forever when he assists a wealthy man and is given more time than he ever dreamed he’d have. Unfortunately, having that kind of currency causes problems, especially in the ghetto. He gets out, maybe with some vague idea of shaking things up amongst the wealthy, or at least just to see how the other half lives. But when his troubles follow him to the gilded district of New Greenwich, he takes a rich girl hostage to escape.
Forced together by circumstance, the two forge a relationship and engage in a crime spree motivated by Robin Hoodish ideals and a desire to effect the status quo.
I had no complaints about this movie, and I generally manage to come up with some kind of criticism. I’m calling it Logan’s Run meets Robin Hood meets Legend of Billie Jean and wholeheartedly recommend it.