A much relevant science fiction that attempts to re-imagine a similar world with a familiar sociopolitical system. Director and Writer Andrew Niccol takes time to a new dimension where it does matters with certain high concepts with underlying attempts at providing critique of a society that is not so different from ours. Of course, when we talk of high concepts that mind blows, it often opens up plot holes that could be ignored for a better satisfaction from this film at your choice.
Welcome to a world where time has replaced money as the universal currency. The wealthy have accumulated thousands of years, allowing them to live forever, while the poor beg, borrow, and steal enough minutes to make it through the day. In this world, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is one of the unlucky ones, waking up every morning with 23 hours left on his ticking clock, and the knowledge that if he doesn't earn enough time, he won't live to see tomorrow. But Will's fortune takes an unexpected turn when a wealthy stranger turns up dead, and Will finds himself 100 years richer. Now the prime suspect for the man's murder, Will is on the run for his life, searching for the real killer with the help of a beautiful young woman (Amanda Seyfried), who is the only one who believes he is innocent..
Right from the very opening minute when we hear the monologue opening, Justin Timberlake didn't feel like an obvious choice as the lead actor to me. Not saying that he was really bad, but just saying there could be someone better or suitable. It's of course, a casting issue and not a film's con.
Getting served straight up is a blatant showcase of how the concept world works - with an universal currency:
Time has always been a sideline factor when we consider spending efforts everyday. Besides forking out that couple of notes for a cup of coffee, we often ask ourselves in mind, "Do I have time to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee?". You exchange some time to take that cup of coffee, when you could have done something else with that time.
It's the exact same concept that's present in this film, albeit taking time much more seriously. Not just your timeline, but it is your lifeline as well. Once you run out of time, you simply drop dead. Know how we always say "time is money"?
Well, maybe now "time is everything".
With a few attempt at satire fun through lines like "don't waste my time", it sadly ran out of novelty soon before the 109 minutes running time of this film came to an end. Speaking of which, this movie would not only cost you the box office ticket price but also 109 minutes of your time. I'm just saying.
But is it worth it?
Only with an open mind to an easy weekend perhaps, where you just want to see special effects and intense action unfolding before your weary eyes. In Time opens on a relatively high note and did pretty well in the middle act, but for some reason fell short in the final act.
Yes, we know what Niccol tried to critique the sociopolitical system in the film as a subtle parallel reference to ours as well. But he wasn't consistent on it and just allowed it to surface before us and have it dissipate into some corner of the silver screen.
We get how the system works in a way it self-sustains itself with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This we all know, so what we were looking out for was an alternative take or solution/conclusion to this. The response I've obtained from the film was in no way anything close to satisfaction.
Cillian Murphy as the film's fuzzy timekeeper was good in terms of cast performance, but questionable in terms of character development. Amanda Seyfried seemed to be there just to accompany Timberlake for his frequent runs, there just wasn't anything special of note. Maybe she signed up for this to use the production time to get in shape. There were frequent close ups of Seyfried where her big eyes would stare intently at us, I bet Niccol was infatuated with those eyes and decided to fill his film with "eye candy".
Of course, I took it personally when Seyfried said "we look good together" in the film.
Well it could just be me as the usual demanding film customer. If you could cast that aside as a critical agenda, you would be treated to some action taking place within a special effects show stage that should be worthy of your ticket price (hopefully discounted to sweeten the deal).
And erm, of course your 109 minutes (which can't be discounted unless you walk out) spent in the theatre too.