izhilzha (izhilzha) wrote,

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Film review: In Time

mrizh and I finally got around to watching one of last year's sci-fi films, In Time.

I hope you'll pardon this review, which is half actual thoughts and half thoughts on potential fanfic. :)

The cast alone was almost enough to get me into this film: Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, Cillian Murphy...

But it was the premise that made me bump it up my Netflix queue, and that has stuck with me well after watching the film:

Imagine a near-future world in which the currency is life: seconds, minutes, days, years. Humans are genetically (and technologically?) altered so that they age normally until their 25th birthday, and from that time they do not age, but their last year of life begins counting down. The days and minutes on one's account both pass normally as time does, and is also the currency exchanged for goods and services. More must be constantly earned to stay alive.

It's an obvious metaphor, and the biggest weakness of the film are the moments when the script tries to hammer this message home. But because the stakes are so high, and so organic to the world of the story, I found it deeply moving and engaging despite those flaws.

(The structure could also have used a bit of tweaking; and the characters, although well-played by the actors, could have used a little more depth.)

A few things particularly struck me:

--The world is sharply divided between where the poor and rich live... mostly so that the rich won't have their years stolen by those desperate to live another day.

--The main character, who is "25 plus one," lives with his mother. She looks about the same age as him, but is many years older. (This entire idea would be good for loads of fanfic.)

--What would be a food bank or homeless shelter in our society is a place to hand out extra time to those who would otherwise die... which made me wonder if there are people who routinely give down to their last five minutes, trusting God to provide them with more, and then die anyway? It makes the question of "taking care of yourself before you give to others" even more relevant that it is in our world!

--Because a few seconds can be the difference between living and dying, poor people run everywhere... you can tell a rich man by how slowly he walks--and does everything, actually--in comparison.

Has anyone else seen this film yet? Do you have thoughts?

I'm actually tempted to do Yuletide this year solely so I can write/request In Time fic.
Tags: $$, family, film, godstuff, reviews, romance, scifi

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