A truly refreshing concept in which the new currency is time and only time. Andrew Niccol of whom is no stranger to Sci-fi movies, directs, produces and writes, creating a truly unique and immersive world. Set in a 2169 dystopian world, upon your 25th birthday your clock starts to count down from 1 year and if time is up, you are finished. In order to add time too your clock and live longer, time becomes the new currency. A truly brilliant concept upon which explores the shift in social hierarchy, desperation and unbarring corruption.
Throughout the movie we follow Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), a lower class guy going by day to day with around 24 hours left on his clock. After being gifted obscene amounts of ‘time’, Will then travels to the opulent upper zone and starts flaunting his ‘time’. He ends up in a casino gambling against one of the richest men in the world, whom is the owner of the biggest loan company, Philippe Weis and wins. in a bid to win back his money Mr Weis’s invites Will to a party which is where he meets Mr Weis’s daughter, Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). During the time of Wills movements, his obscene jump in wealth does not go unnoticed by the time police or ‘timekeepers’. So upon Wills arrival at said party his attempted arrest takes a surprising turn as Will takes Sylvia (Mr Weis’s daughter) hostage and escapes. The plot then takes on from there upon what I can only describe as a very entertaining, bastardised Bonnie and Clyde meets Robin Hood.
A movie with a bold and unique a concept as this is often very difficult and near enough impossible to pull off flawlessly. This movie is good but not flawless by any stretch of the imagination, and so I will try and depict a few of the major niggles that bugged me.
First of all I feel the general plot starts off with some promise, however it quickly degenerates into a formulaic one. The ‘good guy’ persona of the main character, Will, is not particularly explored at all as to the reason why he wants to become this robin hood like figure. This is annoying as it very quickly starts to upsets the plot and make it slightly less fathomable. We don’t really know specifically, what he wants to achieve apart from to level the social playing field out as it were. Without the sense of a real plan, and no cues given to the audience the movie just stumbles along a little bit for me and everything becomes chance. On that point there is no real backstory to the world itself, is it an alternate universe, is it simply our world in the future, why did the currency change to time. All these questions, if answered by Andrew, I feel would have brought more believability to the plot and understanding of why peoples actions were so.
I did really like the depiction of the world, Andrew did a great job of illustrating the importance of time very well. I would perhaps like to have seen even more depictions of every day life though, I think that would have added a lot more realism and a sense of being to the world. For example, what and where they ate, television channels, Sports, etc.
Justin Timberlake (Will Salas)
Arguably his best performance to date, Justin takes on a serious role and excels in my opinion. Depicting and succeeding to encapsulate a sense of real desperation, bringing compassion to the viewers. Making viewers feel compassion on any level is very difficult to do, and I think Justin gives it a darn good go. A surprise choice of casting in my opinion but one that definitely pays off if you watch him with an open mind.
Cillian murphy (Raymond Leon)
This character was far too underdeveloped, as only right at the end did we get any sense of why he chose the line of work he did. I realise that the role was not necessarily written to be an evil one, because a timekeepers job and is an honest one; that is what he depicted. However, I would like to have seen more substance to his performance, by bringing a real sense of identity to the character, this was not done at all. I loved Cillian in Batman Begins and also in peaky blinders, very distinct characters, but he was way off the boil in this one for me. Perhaps i’m critiquing too harshly after almost being spoilt by his other roles.
This truly is a brilliant concept and one that translated onto the screen very well. The divide between rich and poor is illustrated incredibly well via the very stark depiction of the ‘zones’. whilst the rich get richer in their own idyllic zone ‘Greenwich’, the poor get poorer. The desperation, the struggle and the angst is very real in the lower zone, people dying on the streets, wages being cut and prices going up. juxtaposing that, the overbearing greed and opulence of Greenwich is sickening to see. Perhaps this overall depiction is a deliberate ploy by the director, illustrating what our very own social structure will become in reality bearing in mind the current levels of wealth distribution. 7/10