Author Topic: Movie review "In time"  (Read 3842 times)

FrugalToque

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Movie review "In time"
« on: April 14, 2015, 11:47:35 AM »
I want to be careful here about calling this Anti-Mustachian, because there are elements that are and aren't.

The premise of the movie is that Time is literally Money.  That is to say, there is no money.  Everyone is biologically frozen at age 25, but you also get a digital countdown clock on the inside of your forearm that starts you off with one year when you turn 25.  If it gets to zero, you have a heart attack and die instantly.  When you work, the company pays you in time.  When you buy a coffee, a bus ride, pay your rent etc., someone deducts time.

Also, there is no security on your wrist.  If you fall asleep or get knocked out, someone can totally walk up to you and steal all your time.

The rich have thousands of years on their clocks.  The poor live day to day in their ghettoes, just making enough to scrape by until the next day.

I know.  Metaphor much?

So the poor people do a *lot* of running, because they have to.  Their clocks never have much more than a day on them and periodically there are dead people in the street.  There are payday loan outfits that charge 37% interest (per year?  Compounding period is not specified.)

Now, I get the message: the poor are living on borrowed time while the rich get richer and the cost of living rises.  There is wealth inequality, just as there is in real life, and if it gets bad enough, the pitchforks come down.  I get that and I believe it's a real problem in our society which is mirrored in this movie.

However.

1.  The heroes are on their way to work and stop for a coffee.  Really?  You're going to die tomorrow if you run out of minutes and you're spending three of them on a coffee?  Then the barista announces that coffee now costs 4 minutes.  They grouse briefly and hand over their wrists anyway to deduct the time.  I mean, shit, we're literally talking about life and death and you can't go without a coffee to save up a buffer?  I guess this is how poverty perpetuates, but still ...

2.  "They just keep raising the cost of living until they kill us" - paraphrasing, but the screenwriters seem to think that the cost of living increase is an intentional attempt to kill people
a) that's not how it works.  The wealthy are trying to get wealthier and some are literally out to keep workers desperate, yes.  They don't actually want them dead
b) the cost of living is actually cheaper than it's ever been, so that part of the metaphor doesn't work either and perpetuates a very powerful myth.

What really got to me was that even the hero, who actually had some initiative (to the point of robbing banks, playing poker against the rich etc.) couldn't wrap his head around "consuming less stuff" and starving the evil rich people that way.  "Grr!  I hate how they keep raising the price of this coffee everyday!  But what can I do?"

The part that was, sadly correct, however, was the perpetuation of poverty.  A man who has only known poverty gets 10 years suddenly and drinks himself to death.  People are spending money they don't have because they don't see any hope in their futures and have never been taught about money.  I get that part and I know it mirrors our actual society.

Toque.

russianswinga

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 03:27:18 PM »
I thoroughly enjoyed that movie. It's so dystopian - just the way I like it. Has a hunger games vibe and the acting isn't half-bad. Honestly, this movie should be the mascott movie for Mustachianism.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 03:30:57 PM by russianswinga »

Valhalla

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 03:29:44 PM »
Is this the one with Justin Timberlake? Caught a few minutes of it... decided it was a waste of my "time" and moved on.

Thanks for the review.

Syonyk

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 05:41:03 PM »
The premise of the movie is that Time is literally Money.  That is to say, there is no money.

I regret both the time I wasted and the money I spent watching this movie in theaters. :(  It looked like it might actually have been good.  It wasn't.

The premise of the movie is "Time is Money!"  And then the entire rest of the movie was bludgeoning into your skulls, over and over, "Time is money! Time is money!  They're, like, the same, see, because time is money!"

It felt like someone lost a bet to make a movie about a common phrase, and somehow convinced people to take this idea seriously enough to make a movie.

Save your Money and your Time and skip this movie. :)

HappierAtHome

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 06:42:16 PM »
I enjoyed it - but then, I watched it for free when it was on TV, which always helps (plus my couch is comfier than a cinema seat and the snacks are better, too!).

The coffee did bug me - surely if you're in fear of running out of time completely, you would hoard every minute you could?

2.  "They just keep raising the cost of living until they kill us" - paraphrasing, but the screenwriters seem to think that the cost of living increase is an intentional attempt to kill people
a) that's not how it works.  The wealthy are trying to get wealthier and some are literally out to keep workers desperate, yes.  They don't actually want them dead
b) the cost of living is actually cheaper than it's ever been, so that part of the metaphor doesn't work either and perpetuates a very powerful myth.

I didn't read that aspect of the movie as a direct metaphor for our current capitalist society. After all, it is meant to be a dystopian world - so it seemed plausible that overpopulation was, for whatever reason, a problem, and that running out of time was one method of exerting population control. After all, everyone is stuck at 25 forever so effectively immortal if they don't run out of time - makes sense that this would mean that you need to cull and/or stop having babies.

Syonyk

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 07:08:32 PM »
It came out during the middle of the Occupy protests, so I'd assumed the capitalist scum commentary was deliberate.

sheepstache

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2015, 06:49:53 PM »
The coffee is an example of a key thing with science fiction, though. Take something outlandish and show that people have accepted it as part of everyday life. Tell someone from 200 years ago how many people die in car accidents and they'd be shocked at our blase attitude toward it.

I agree with HappieratHome, I didn't think it was meant to be a direct metaphor. And you don't have to seek out art just from that period that find claims the rich are evil or all-controlling.

Seriously, though, that thing about there being no security on the wrist watch drove me nuts. No way that's realistic. I guess it was emphasizing the social stratification aspect. The rich seclude themselves with other rich, whether cause or effect. The poor have nothing worth stealing and/or it costs money to be poor, living in a high crime area where you can't build up a stash without one of the other crabs in the bucket pulling you down. But I found it so unrealistic it was distracting.

MoneyCat

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2015, 07:25:12 PM »
I loved this movie.  I am highly critical of capitalism, since I am Christian, and this film was right up my alley.  This movie goes right over the heads of the Ayn Rand types.

Ditchmonkey

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2015, 10:47:54 PM »
If there was an academy award for worst puns, this movie would have easily taken the prize. It's an interesting premise. I would enjoy seeing it remade, handling the subject matter more seriously.

FrugalToque

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2015, 06:20:13 AM »
If there was an academy award for worst puns, this movie would have easily taken the prize. It's an interesting premise. I would enjoy seeing it remade, handling the subject matter more seriously.

That's pretty much the way I felt.  This was a really good premise for a future dystopian world.  I don't have problem with that premise and I think it really did a good job of showcasing how poverty works, the mindset it can create and therefore how it perpetuates itself.

Now somebody hire a writer and make a really good story out of it instead of this.  And F.F.S, let's drop the "we flipped over in a convertible and only got lightly scratched" scene and make the bank robbery scenes at least a little bit plausible.

Toque.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Movie review "In time"
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2015, 02:17:37 PM »
I loved this movie, and frankly, having this plot on my mind (the time as currency, not the anti-rich, anti-corporation crap)  was kind of a gateway drug for me to find MMM....

The fact is, we all have that counter, and every moment we spend not doing what we want, but what someone else wants, we give up time that can never be recovered.  When you work for someone else, fall prey to consumerist bullshit, buy stupid expensive purses, drive when you could bike, buy that fancy coffee, you give bits of your life away.  The thing that sucks for us, is that I have no idea what is on my counter.  Its like writing checks with no idea what the balance in the bank is....then suddenly, you are overdrawn.