The meaning of the film In Time
A rare action game can boast of such a detailed thought-out world and a deep idea, which the movie “In Time” has. And it is not surprising that a few years after the film’s release on the big screen, viewers continue to revise it and look for new meanings that the authors put into this masterfully made film work. I hope that my analysis will help you see something new in the movie “In Time” and give you an impetus for reflection.
The meaning of the metaphor “time is money” and the consequences of immortality in the film “In Time”
The dream of immortality will probably never leave human minds: let us recall “Mister Nobody”, the plot of which is partly inspired by scientific research on telomerase – “the source of youth.” The creators of Vremya did not go into scientific explanations: it is not so important how humanity came to immortality; it is important what consequences this led to. If immortality is available to everyone, then how to protect the Earth from overpopulation? There are two ways: to limit the birth rate or to ensure a stable death rate … among a certain part of the population. This is how the world of dystopia, shown in the film “Time”, appeared: a world where the metaphor “time is money” has the most direct meaning.
The cost of a lost second is human life. Therefore, the people of Dayton are in constant pursuit of time.
For some reason, many have decided that the meaning of the film “In Time” is a reminder of the value of time, that it is a call to think about what we are spending our time on. But is it? Do the heroes of the film ask themselves this question? Yes, the price of a few seconds is indeed mentioned often, but do not forget that every time the word “time” sounds in the film, it means not only the lifetime, but also the currency. In Time is a valuable resource in the community where Will and Sylvia were born. I think the film encourages us to think about something else. Since Time dystopian society is a capitalist world order brought to the point of absurdity, we can find parallels with this society in our real life.
What time zone do you think you are in? How much is the time of your life worth? It may very well be that in reality you are not much different from the inhabitants of Dayton, who are forced to spend the whole day on hard work, in order to then receive in return only a few hours, which they may not be enough until tomorrow (after all, you still have to pay off loans, and prices are inexorable grow!). Fortunately, unlike Daytons and residents of other disadvantaged time zones, you and I have the opportunity to become more wanted and valuable members of society, whose work is highly paid (although not immortal, like the Greenwich residents).
“The strongest survives” – Philippe Weiss likes to repeat. But in reality, in the world of “Time” the majority do not have the opportunity to fight
What is justice in the world of “In Time”?
The next question I want to pose to you is: what is justice in the world of “In Time”? The heroes argue a lot about her: Will Salas is sure that the current order of things is unacceptable, because the rich from Greenwich buy their immortality at the expense of the deaths of the poor. This is really unfair, and here’s why: the social position in this society is determined according to the caste principle, that is, it depends on the place of birth. Born in a poor time zone – you will fight for survival and hardly make it to thirty. Born in Greenwich – litter for millennia, play for centuries in casinos.
Attempts to escape from their time zone are extremely rare and do not lead to success, although we meet with an exception – this is the timekeeper Raymond Leon. This hero is not much different from the poor – he also has to keep track of the time, because the service fee is very modest. However, he has his own understanding of justice, and in order to protect this order (in which the rich are in power, and he himself lives no better than the Dayton workers), he is ready to give his life. Raymond Leon reminds me of Police Inspector Javert, the hero of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, whose moral character and dedication to the law were equally unshakable and also led to his death.
Raymond Leon defends the interests of a social stratum to which he himself does not belong. But his moral principles are unshakable
So, the power is on the side of Greenwich, and innocent people are dying of poverty. But do Will and Sylvia really bring justice to this world? My answer is no. Philip Weiss, who is more knowledgeable in the organization of this dystopian society, explains his mistake to Will Salas. No matter how much money this hero takes from the rich, no matter how much he gives to the poor, he will not correct the established order. All that Will and Sylvia’s actions have led to is, first, monstrous inflation, which has caused an unprecedented rise in prices; secondly, a lot of money is in the hands of people who do not know how to spend it. Remember with what pain the wife of his deceased friend Borel looks at Will. Will gave Borel a whole ten years, but the poor man didn’t know how to spend them, and he spent it all on booze. So what brings Will Salas to this world – justice or destruction?
The poor do not know how to manage the wealth that has fallen on them.
The meaning of the ending of the film “In Time”
In fact, Will is hard to blame. He became a hostage of circumstances: disillusioned with the life of Henry Hamilton, he rewarded Will with a dangerous gift, and then the only person on whom Will could spend the fortune that had fallen on him – his mother – died. Will Salas is not a revolutionary at all, he did not have time to think about a plan for a coup and reorganization of society. All he has left is to run forward, and he will continue until he and Sylvia are caught, which is inevitable. Don’t be fooled by the finale of the film – no matter how great the scale of the riots caused by the two young men, they cannot cope with the well-oiled machine of the system.
I believe that the defeat of Will and Sylvia would have been a more realistic ending, and it would not have done any harm to the overall message of Time. But let my conclusions not seem too pessimistic to you – in fact, you can change the system, just in a different way, not the one that our heroes have chosen. It is enough to give people the opportunity to move up the social ladder, thus raising the value of their lives, and the position of forces will change dramatically. Healthy rivalry for material goods is something that is lacking on both sides in the film: the bored Greenwich people and the exhausted poor.
“This guy does not understand that he is hurting the people he is trying to help!”
In conclusion, I will repeat once again the main provisions that, in my opinion, make up the meaning of the film “In Time”:
- The film makes you wonder: what time zone are we living in? And if our environment is more like Dayton than Greenwich, then what have we done to change that? Indeed, unlike the heroes of the film, we have the opportunity to change our time zone.
- Rebellion, destruction, an attempt to rob the rich and give money to the poor will not bring the desired result. People who do not know how to handle money will not be able to learn how to manage it correctly if they find themselves in their hands a fortune. You can fight the system, but this requires the ability to plan and negotiate, and not brute force.
- Although this thought does not sound explicitly in the film, it can be seen through the plot: global scientific discoveries can significantly change the way of life of mankind. The closer we get to fulfilling our dream of immortality, the more ethical questions arise: can we cope with the changes that immortality will bring? And if so, at what cost?