In Time, Justin Timberlake

<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>

Directed by Andrew Niccol. Starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser.

This whole weekend, In Time has been running House Full! Not Ra.One. Not any other Hindi movie. The first day I didn’t get tickets, the second day there was a mix up in timing but I chanced upon a gentlemen pawning off some unwanted tickets and just made it in to the show. I had to get this review up for you guys (I know I’m not on time, but blame the PR guys for not giving us a press show). And I’m glad I did.

Some time in the future the world no longer lives on money. Because time is money. So everyone lives till 25, then they get one year of time free and after that they have to work for every second, minute, hour, year or decade that they want to live extra. If they don’t, time’s up and you time out (die instantaneously). There are very poor who live day-by-day and then the very rich who have centuries of time on their hands so they may be 80 years old but will still look 25 and probably live till whenever they want, preferably forever!

Will Salas played by the increasingly popular Justin Timberlake lives in the ghettos with his mother (Olivia Wilde) but gets caught up in a strange situation where he is gifted a century of time. Now, all this time is displayed on the person’s inner forearm in glowing green digits (13 to be precise) that count down continuously. So everyone’s watching the time. Their time. I wondered how difficult it was sleeping with that thing on, light in the face and all that. Anyway, I’m guessing they have bigger problems to deal with.

So Will is on the run from Time Keeper Leon played by the ever dependable Cillian Murphy who must take the time back from Will and bring him to book. Will however decides to sneak into a wealthy ‘time zone’ and socialise with financier Philippe Weise (Vincet Kartheiser) and his daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). He runs off with her and thus begins the chase. Lots of running, robbing banks of time, biding time, stealing time, giving time away and even time for a bit of hanky-panky ensue.

Minimum use of CGI and special effects, stark Los Angeles locales, some nice cinematography and an awesome premise. What would you do if you could live forever? The ‘wealthy’ in this film choose to spend on lavish dinners and clothes but they never take risks with their lives. No deep sea diving for these people. Not even a dip in the ocean. Why take a chance when you have the gift of eternal youth.

Writer, director Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show, Gattaca) has sculpted an interesting piece of fiction out of a very unique and simple fictional premise. They don’t delve into the intricacies of how time came to be used as a currency. It’s the repercussions that are more interesting. The capitalistic greed that could very well be a metaphor for today’s state of affairs in global markets and people’s disillusionment and ire for the banking community.

Sure there are some pesky questions: how do Timberlake and Seyfried rob the banks so easily? Has the whole world gone corrupt? What happens if someone’s ‘time telling’ arm gets chopped off?!!

Timberlake is turning into quite the star. The Social Network, Friends With Benefits and quite a few more that may not have done so well. But he’s versatile. And now even bankable. You know, I used to find him a bit irritating. But he grows on you, his talent does and I’m sure in time he’ll be an actor to reckon with.

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