Movie Review Monday

In Time (2011)

Justin Timberlake is such a cutie.  I've never really listened to his music, but I really like him as an actor.  He did a nice job in this movie.

The basic premise of the film is that humans have somehow become genetically altered so they don't age past 25.  Of course, they only have one year to live after that.  They have clocks on their arms that let them know how much time they have left.  They can buy/acquire more time, which means they can potentially live forever.

As you can imagine, there is a separation between those who have time and those who live day to day/minute by minute.  The elite believe they are entitled to live for eternity, so they tax the lower classes so they can have all the time.  There is more than enough to go around for everyone, but the rich don't want to share.  They have no regard for human lives and only care about themselves.  Will (Justin Timberlake) wants to find justice and wants everyone to be equal. 

The film wasn't terrible.  It had some good action scenes and a nice plot.  It was 1 hour and 50 minutes long, but it didn't seem tedious.  It did a great job of pointing out social injustice and fighting for what is right, and it did it in a Bonnie and Clyde/Robin Hood type of way.  If you like these kinds of films, I suggest checking this movie out.

I did have some problems with the movie.  Mainly, I kept rolling my eyes at the premise and the anti-elitism message.  Like I said, the film was very Robin Hood-esque:  steal from the rich and give to the poor.  The filmmakers made sure they pointed out that the elite were stealing time from the lower classes through low wages and inordinately high loan rates.  Because of this, there was no way the poor could get ahead.  As Henry Hamilton pointed out, someone had to die so that the world wouldn't become overpopulated.  The poor were just unfortunate enough to be those someones.

The film brought forth the question:  who is to blame for the state of the world?  And the answer:  the rich.  Through nefarious means, they keep the little man down.  It's not the poors' fault they can't get ahead, oh, no, it's the rich.  They want them to fail.  They take time from them so they can't get ahead.  The world should be equal and everyone should have fair access to all of the time.

Well, see, it doesn't work that way.  Near the end of the film, it shows a newscast that portrays how the people from the poor districts, who now have tons of time on their hands (literally), have left their posts at the factories.  They are all moving to the rich part of the world to live a life of luxury.  That's what I think bothered me most of all.  Who is going to create products for people to buy?  Living forever is going to suck if you don't have the luxury to live in.  The film definitely proposed a lovely idea for a utopia, but we all know it won't work.  Chaos takes over, and there are always those people who will try to horde the riches for themselves.  I'm probably looking deeper into this film than I need to, but it really bothered me. 

It seemed to comment about our society as a whole.  There was an obvious challenge to our capitalist system and proposed the notion that every thing should be shared equally among everyone.  Again, that's a lovely idea, but one that isn't going to happen.  We have a notion in this country that everyone can be something great, all you have to do is work for it.  The whole "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" philosophy.  If you don't make it in the world, it's no ones fault but your own.  Is it fair?  Probably not.  But has life ever been fair?  I guess it just bothered me that these people were expecting something for nothing. 

I know, it can be argued that they were just taking back what was rightfully theirs.  After all, the rich stole their time in the first place.  Perhaps their real concern should have been how to reverse the genetic mutation that made them like that in the first place.

I'm sure after these people migrate from the ghettos into the elite part, there will be some individuals who try to take advantage of others and their time.  Thieves and shysters who never have enough and take from others.  And there will always be those who fall for those ruses.  I don't know.  I'm sure I missed the "real meaning" of the film, so if some of you have seen it, chime in and let me know what you thought.  I mean, I didn't really even touch on the moral issues of living forever.  Or about the ideals of youth.  What is so wrong with growing old?  Am I wrong?  What did you think the film was about?

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Pembroke Sinclair's books on Goodreads
Life After the Undead Life After the Undead
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