In Time (Supplemental Viewing)

 In Time takes place in the year 2161, where humans have been genetically engineered to stop aging at 25 years old. When babies are born, they have a year of time imprinted on their arm. As soon as they turn 25, the year starts counting down. So, they have an extra year to live after age 25. The only way to live longer is to steal or borrow time. Here, time is everything. It is currency, it is the law, it is your life. In the same way that we depend on money for things, these people depend on time. Although, it is even more of an necessity. As soon as they get time, whether it is a day, a month, or just an hour, it starts counting down by seconds. If your clock reaches zero, you “time out,” and die instantly. So, it is deathly important to have time. In the ghettos of Dayton, many “young” people live day to day getting by with just barely enough time to survive. However, the rich upper class society of New Greenwich has more than enough time, making them practically immortal. 

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This movie is full of social class conflicts which involve the rich getting more and more time while the poor can barley stay alive. This is an unequal distribution of wealth, only with a different type of currency. The rich control the poor because they own all the time that everyone needs. One man, Philippe Weis, owns everything in the town of Dayton. The story focuses on a citizen of Dayton named Will Salas, who lives with his mother and must fight for time and find it wherever they can. At a bar one night, he witnesses a wealthy man being mugged for his time and helps him escape. The man had lived to be 105 years old and was ready to die. He gives Will 100 years and lets his time run out, killing himself. Will wakes up to find a century on his arm and a note saying “Don’t waste my time.” Since Will was there at the scene of his death, Will is accused of murdering the gracious man. 

An organization called the “Time Keepers” are like today’s policemen, only they monitor the citizens of their time zones very closely. They are comparable to a communist government in that they watch what happens to everyone and try to control them. When someone gives away 100 years, they know it. Every time a new baby is born and a year of time is added to the population, they see that too. So when that much time is placed in the hands of someone who they believe does not deserve it, they will do anything to get it back. This goes along with the theme of government control. The entire movie is a satire of our generation, I’m guessing, and how it could become. In the movie, the Time Keepers raise the cost of living and income tax tremendously almost every week, making it almost impossible for some people to live, because they have to spend all their time on necessities. One character in the film says “Everyone can’t live forever; where would we put them all?” So this is their form of “population control.” If they can’t kill them, they will just make it impossible for them to live. In a sense this happens today. Many hunters of animals say they are doing society justice by participating in “population control.” Also, in the movie the people who lived in a certain place could not go to a different time zone. (Time zones in this film are just like communities or cities in our society.) Each time zone is blocked off by huge barriers, and the only way to get across is to give away months, even years of your life.

This movie was similar to the ideas in The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon. Instead of an alternate history, it is an alternate future. (At least I hope that’s an alternate future.) It also reflects some of the inequality in social classes just like Chabon’s book represents. In The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, the Sitka Jews are treated unequally and are forced to move around from place to place because they do not fit in. Especially those that have mixed heritage with Native Alaskans. In Time takes the two major classes of people and splits them up socially. Instead of forcing the poor to move, they keep them from doing so. No one can go anywhere unless they have the time to do it. These are based on actual situations; some people today cannot afford to go anywhere are have nice things because money rules everything. In that same way, time controls their lives.

The movie addresses Darwin’s Natural Selection. This was also addressed in H.G. Well’s The Time Machine. I thought this was interesting because I wrote my midterm paper on this topic. Just like in The Time Machine, there are two distinct classes of people, only here it is the rich and the poor. “Only the strong survive,” says Will Salas, talking about the way that the social classes are split up in this altered universe. the clip below explains how Phillipe Weis (the richest man in Greenwich Village) feels on social evolution that has taken place.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/7592793/in_time_clip_natural_selection/

http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/7592793/in_time_clip_natural_selection.swf<div style=”font-size:12px;”><a href=”http://www.metacafe.com/watch/7592793/in_time_clip_natural_selection/”>In Time Clip – “Natural Selection”</a>. Watch more top selected videos about: <a href=”http://www.metacafe.com/topics/Movie_Trailers/&#8221; title=”Movie_Trailers”>Movie Trailers</a>, <a href=”http://www.metacafe.com/topics/In_Time_(film)/&#8221; title=”In_Time_(film)”>In Time (film)</a></div>

I thought In Time was very interesting. I never thought about it that way, “What if time ruled everything?” I’ve heard the age old saying “Time is money,” but never thought about it in this aspect. Time really is money for the people in this movie. It made me think about how risky it would be living your life with only seconds left, knowing the exact moment you would die. However, I don’t think I would want to know when I was going to die. Also, people killed each other just so they could steal time. If someone walked around with a lot of time on them, they could get shot in the street. I thought that would make life a lot more dangerous. This movie was thrilling and had me on the edge of my seat at times. It makes the viewer see what it is like to live from day to day, or in this case minute to minute. Just like the characters lived a life of uncertainty, as the viewer you feel what they are feeling. It also made me appreciate aging. If we all stopped aging at 25, we would all look the same and you wouldn’t be able to tell who was your elder and who was younger than you. So, be careful what you wish for. In Time was a great movie and I would definitely watch it again.

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