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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review of “ In Time” – Time is money

Yesterday I decided to go a long with my brother and his girlfriend to watch the movie “In Time”, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.

The story plays off in a not so distant future. Instead of money, people trade with “time”. Everyone is born with some kind of physical clock on their lower arm – and as soon as they become 25, the clock starts to count down from 1 year. That is how long you have left to live UNLESS you are able to get, buy or work for more time. Everyone works for a day..then they are given another day to live. Their paychecks are given out as "minutes" at the end of their shifts, which allow them to live to work another day.
Everyone also “freezes” on 25, so your appearance stops aging as well.

There are about 4 different “time zones”. A time zone is a zone with a specific population. You have on the extreme sides the super wealthy, and the poor who live in the ghetto. The poor don’t have much time, live day to day, often drop dead on the street because they run out of time.
The rich have time enough, some have 105 years on their arm, some even up to a thousand.

The main actor, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake ), meets a rich man in a bar in his ghetto. It is quite strange because normally the classes are separated. Going to the ghetto as a rich man is extremely dangerous because everyone wants your time.
And indeed, he is attacked by Fortis , the 75-year old mobster boss of a gang called the Minutemen, who are infamous for stealing other people's time by force.

Will ends up rescuing him , while finding out he actually wants to die. He does not want to live forever, and talks about the fact that the rich can live forever, because the poor die early. Because not all people can live forever, only the select few, so they make sure prices go up in the ghetto, taxes go up etc… so that the poor keep dying.
Will is shocked by this.

This rich man has 106 years on his arm. They fall asleep and in the morning Will wakes up, finding the rich man is gone. He looks at his arm and sees 106 years on it. The rich man gave his years to him and wrote on the mist on the window “don’t waste my time”. Will looks out of his window at the bridge and sees the man sitting on top of it. He hurries to try to get to him on time, but he is too late, and the rich man his time runs up, he dies and tumbles of the bridge.

So Will has 106 years now, and decides to go to the rich side, which is called New Greenwich. But the minutemen are after him of course, because they saw his face on a surveillance camera and tracked him, knowing he has the rich mans time, which they think he stole from him..

Will meets a very wealthy man in New Greenwich during poker, and he ends up getting together with his daughter. Some people in New greenwhich control time banks in the hood where they loan out time to anyone who is minutes away from Death and will pay any price to get it..they loan it out at a 40 percent interest rate. The wealthy man in New Greenwich also is one of the main figures who controles the time banks. He has a large screen in his office which show a map of the earth, with the numbers on it of time zones, and it notifies when there is a disruptance - when there is time in a time zone that is not supposed to be there. So that when they notice this, they can restore the system bad to it's polarity state of rich-poor.

The minutemen find him there, but Will can escape while kidnapping the daughter along, she is called “Sylvia” (Amanda Seyfried). She ends up becoming his helper in the battle against the system. They steal lots of time and hand it out to those in the Ghetto.

A few conversational quotes:

Will: "How can you live with yourself watching people die right next to you?"
Sylvia: "You don't watch. You close your eyes."

Phillippe Weis: "You put enough time in the wrong hands, you upset the whole system."
Will: "Let's hope so."

Henry: "How old are you? In real time?"
Will: "28."
Henry: "I'm 105. Does it show? The day comes when you've had enough. Your mind can be spent even if your body's not."
Will: "That's your problem? You've been alive too long? Have you ever known anyone who's died?"
Henry: "For a few to be immortal, many must die."
Will: "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
Henry: "You really don't know, do you? Everyone can't live forever, where would we put them? Why do you think there are time zones? Why to you think taxes and prices go up the same day in the ghetto? The cost of living keeps rising to make sure people keep dying. How else could there be men with a million years almost from day to day? The truth is, there's more than enough. No one has to die before their time. If you had as much time as I have, what would you do with it?"
Will: "If I had all that time, I sure as hell wouldn't waste it."

Some viewers may watch this movie and think of how cruel such a world is. But actually it is exactly the world we are currently living in. We, the ones with a pc, are part of 4-5% of world population with a computer. We have a minority of extremely rich people making up 1% of global population who own 50 % of all wealth. We have a middle class who does reasonably well, and a majority that is on the bottom and struggles.

The rich can buy whatever they like, they can get to healthy good food, health care ,great education, good networks, sports and entertainment services, plastic surgery and creams to look younger and age slower (supposedly ), some have maids etc…
While the poor struggle to survive, live paycheck to paycheck hoping they’ll get buy. Have to buy food that they can afford which is not always the best, no proper education, sweatshop labor, starvation, no good networks etc….

Philippe Weis: Of course, some think what we have is unfair. The time difference between zones.
Will Salas: I've heard that.
Philippe Weis: But, hasn't evolution always been unfair? It's always been survival of the fittest. This is merely Darwinian capitalism.
Natural selection.
Will Salas: Absolutely. The strong survive”

The rich often use this as an excuse, because it serves their self-intrest. In that way they can justify their egoism, greed and abuse.
The fact is, we all accept this, because it is so known and common to us. We are also blind for what’s happening in our global system.
"You don't watch. You close your eyes."
Will upsetting the whole system stop this? What will stop this is standing together and working together to create a replacement for our current system. A system of equality and dignity, for the common good of all. We can do this, and if your don’t think so it simply means you have been brainwashed to give up and stay an obedient slave to the status quo.

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