“His crime wasn’t taking time. It was giving it away.”
Imagine a world where money holds no value and humanity’s currency is time. Genetic alteration has allowed humanity to develop a system where individuals stop ageing 25 years after birth. Overpopulation has resulted in people having to acquire time through labour, inheritance or other, slightly shadier methods. Either that, or they die within a year.
The amount of living time one has left is represented by a clock embedded on their arms like a wristwatch, and when that clock reaches 13 zeros (0000:00:0:00:00:00), they will die instantly
Each social class lives in a different area called a ‘Time Zone’. The poor live in the ghettos of Dayton and work each day to earn a few more hours of life, which they must also use to pay for everyday necessities. The rich live in the luxurious New Greenwich, and can live for centuries to millennia based on how much time they have acquired. As with all societies, there is palpable tension between classes.
All this is explored and portrayed in Andrew Niccol’s dystopian thriller In Time. The film explores the parallel future universe with a healthy dose of drama and intellect. However the only place where the film comes up short is in the lack of character development.
Nevertheless, there’s a lesson to be learned in a film that explores how valuable time is. So don’t waste it.