If you had 24 hours to live what would you do with it? This is the running theme of Andrew Niccol’s new sci-fi thriller In Time starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Given the fact that Justin has been in show business since he was a tiny tot and has seemingly done it all from television and world famous pop star to now making the bridge into becoming a movie star, I had the chance to ask Justin the same question at the premiere.
“It sounds cliche but I would spend it with people that I love and with my family…I could probably squeeze in a three hour round of golf, and then spend it with the people I love.”
After following that up with asking if there was anything left he felt he hadn’t done that he’d like to do, being the charming and lovable character that he is, he jokingly said “I’d like to occupy Pasadena.”
As for the film, I loved it. One of the biggest reasons being the concept is great. The thought of living in a world where time literally becomes money and seeing how that plays out in the confines of the world we live in today is quite interesting. The world Niccol created is very fascinating and will be one of the main things that will keep you engaged with the film from start to finish.
In the film Timberlake plays Will Salas, a guy who lives in “the ghetto” as it’s called. Here is where people can only afford to live day to day, working to earn enough time to live to see the next day only to do it all over again.
Because you can only live a year past the age of 25, many of the poor people in the ghetto, like Justin and his mother(played by the beautiful and talented Olivia Wilde), used most of their year’s time currency to pay bills just to get by. But when Justin saves the life of a wealthy man(played by one of my favorite actors Matt Bomer) with over 100 year’s time on his life clock, the man gives a healthy portion of his time to Justin and the drama ensues.
So why the age of 25? Niccol chose this age because it is the age at which the brain is fully developed and human beings are better at controlling impulse and wreckless behavior(see why you can’t rent a car until 25 now?).
The theme echoed throughout the film is that “you can do a lot in a day.” And the beauty of what writer and director Andrew Niccol has done is not only create a unique world in which we get to view the same way we live our lives today through a different spectrum, but he found a brilliant way to remind us all that the length of our time here is both unknown and relatively short. The contrast between the richest 1% in the film having thousands and even millions of years to live on their life clocks while the 99% work tirelessly just to make it to have enough time to see tomorrow reflects brilliantly on the status of today’s America and the Occupy the World movement that has taken place in recent months.
We often say time is money but in this world time is EVERYTHING. Time is literally money, power, and anything else you need it to be in a world where it is the only currency. Much like our rat race is to make as much money as possible, in In Time, the goal is to live as long as possible once that clock on your arm begins to tick and tock on your 25th birthday.
Some people have slighted at the notion of taking Timberlake serious as a thriller/action type leading man but what seems to be a smart move by Team Justin is that the theme and story of the film is much bigger than the people playing the characters. Furthermore, Justin actually does a good job of playing the character and not feeling like you’re watching the guy from N*Sync shoot and run from people.
The film tackles our obsession with youth(which is why Niccol shot the film in Los Angeles) and holds a mirror up to our lives that begs the question, What are you doing with your time? Because, unlike the people in the world Niccol created, we don’t have the luxury of rolling up our sleeve and peeking at a clock to see when it all ends. For us it could be today, tomorrow, or 50 years from now but the message of the film seems to say take the time you have now, realize just how precious it is, and spend it wisely. What you’re obsessing over may not truly matter at all and what you’re putting off just may be the things that adds a little more time to your life clock.
In Time hits theaters Friday October 28th. Go see it while you still have time.
For fun we had to pay homage to Mase’s “24 Hours To Live”…
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