Andrew Niccol previously wrote The Truman Show and Terminal, and so is no newcomer to larger-than-life allegory in cinema. His latest film, In Time, with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried is not just a very clever film about time, it’s also a film for which the release date is itself is a miracle in timing.
I don’t think there are any spoiler alert warnings needed to tell you that the film makes a clever shift from dollars and cents as the currency that creates inequality in the world, to years, weeks and minutes. So the rich people have “all the time in the world,” while the poor (who live in different “time zones”) have “no time to loose.” They live day to day, or even one minute to the next. Just this simple shift allows for a refreshingly clever script, which brings new meaning to every idiom we’ve ever heard about time.
“You’ve got a minute?” asked a young girl on the street, instead of begging for change.
After bequeathing a fortune of more than a hundred years to the main character, the benefactor leaves behind a note: “Don’t waste my time.”
Our hero (Justin Timberlake), a kind of futuristic Robin Hood, is not the usual criminal who “takes his time.” He becomes a hero because he takes from those with “too much time on their hands” (the immortals) and gives it to those who could “use a few more minutes.”
As I said, this is not just a film about time, the release date is a miracle in timing as well. Obviously Niccols had to have written this script many years ago in order to get it financed, go through free-production, filming, etc. So was it a stroke of luck, inspired genius, or prophetic power that caused it to be released just six weeks after the Occupy Wall Street Movement started, where the gap between the 1% and the 99% is at the top of the news?
This is THE FILM about addressing social inequality in a way that’s hip, humorous, and inspiring. I won’t tell you too much more about the story, except that you’ll leave the movie theater thoroughly energized to go out and take out a big bank, and make the world a saner place.
Five stars, highly recommended.