Live 50 years in one day: what is the essence of the film “Time” / “Old”
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Detective
Year of production: 2021
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Actors: Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicki Crips, Rufus Sewell
The plot of the film “Time” / “Old” (2021) tells about an ordinary American family that goes on vacation to a tropical island. At a certain moment, people realized with horror that in a few hours they had matured for years, and now their whole life is only one day for them. The film, directed by Indian director Manoj Shyamalan, is based on the graphic novel Sand Castle.
What is the movie about
Brief summary of the film “Time”. Husband and wife Guy and Priska, who are on the verge of a divorce, along with their son Trent and daughter Maddox, go to rest on an island. From all sides the beach is fenced with rocks, and it seems completely wild. The heroes are completely satisfied with this: they came to take a break from the city noise. A few hours later, they realized that this place is not the easiest: time here goes several times faster.
Guy and Priska with their children are not the only vacationers on the beach. The family of a stern cardiologist and a young couple in love also went there.
Frame from the film.
At first, the beach really seems amazing: the heroes enjoy soft sand, clear water and amazingly beautiful nature. But gradually anxiety seizes them: strange things are found on the beach every now and then (old children’s toys, rusty dishes), but there are no fish in the water. The apotheosis of everything is the corpse of a young woman in the water.
Naturally, the heroes soon become convinced that this beach is strange and even dangerous. Alas, it is impossible to leave it in the usual way (hello, “LOST”). It would seem that the only way to leave a terrible place is to pass by the rocks. But here’s the trick: as soon as the heroes get there, their head starts to hurt and they pass out. The characters realize they are trapped…
The focus is on the successful medical corporation Warner-Warner, one of the world’s leading companies. In the course of the story, the terrible secret of her success is revealed.
The company was the first to find a mysterious island in the ocean, and discovered an incredibly mysterious place. A small piece of land, fenced on one side by rocks, and on the other by an endless ocean, has become a real temporal anomaly.
People age 2 years in one hour, and 50 years in a day. The reason for such “miracles” is unknown, but according to one of the heroes of the film, the matter may lie in a magnetic anomaly: the rocks “work” as barriers, and inside, after millions of years of evolution, the magnetic poles have shifted and began to work in a strange way, forcing living organisms develop and grow old a thousand times faster. Getting out of this area is impossible because the anomaly is surrounded by an electromagnetic barrier.
Frame from the film.
The cynical executives of the corporation decided to make the most of their discovery. In ordinary life, it takes a lot of time and money to test any drug (in particular, this is why drugs in pharmacies are so expensive), and the result is not always the one that was expected.
Employees of the company posted an attractive announcement on the Internet: on a wonderful island, you can not only relax, but also receive medical treatment: there is a sanatorium that accepts patients with serious illnesses. Patients (in this context, test subjects) are injected with new drugs, and then they are taken to the anomalous part of the island, filming what will happen to them. Given the abnormally current time, the effectiveness of drugs immediately becomes noticeable.
In the film, we already meet the 73rd group of subjects. It can be concluded that the previous participants in the monstrous experiment died against the background of accelerated aging. But, according to the head of the corporation, these deaths were not in vain, because she was able to create several effective drugs that could save hundreds of thousands of human lives.
The problem is that studies of this kind are meaningless from the point of view of evidence-based medicine. Drugs are being tested on control groups, and Warner-Warner employees have given out the only successful case as a success. Decisions on the release of the drug based on the results from one person are simply not made …
The name of the film can also be translated as “Old”, “Aging”, “Age”. But domestic localizers, imbued with the content of the picture, preferred to give it a deeper name – “Time”.
The director and screenwriter of the picture is oh so difficult. M. Night Shyamalan has directed films such as The Sixth Sense, After Earth, Split and Signs. He is famous for regularly making mystery thrillers with twisted, bizarre plots and hidden meanings that are often revealed only at the end.
The main line of the film is filled with “squeeze” from everyday life, its joys and sorrows. In the course of the plot, the theme of the transience of time and our eternal rush is constantly raised.
According to the plot, the beach, in fact, is time. A very diverse audience gathers on the beach. One of the characters is a textbook beauty who clings to her youth and beauty. Another character is a strange doctor. Other characters: a mysterious female psychologist, and a silent musician who has already unsuccessfully tried to get off the beach.
In one of the mise-en-scenes in the sand, the children of the main characters find things that belonged to people who were on the island before them. There are also houses made of sand here… The meaning of this scene lies in the transience of time: it flies by so quickly that the little things that seemed important cease to be interesting.
Toward the end, the heroes find the message of their ancestors – a diary, and study it in the same way as we study history. They believe that this will help them fully realize their mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future.
Each character in the film “Time” lives their life on the island, only at an incredibly accelerated pace. One of the heroes commits a murder – and a few hours later dies from blood poisoning. Another character tries to hide his aging and ends up dying in a frozen nightmare of his own ugliness. Another heroine tries to get off the island by climbing the rocks (the meaning, most likely, lies in the symbolism: in the same way we sometimes climb up the career ladder) – and eventually falls and breaks to death.
But Guy and Priska find the strength to forgive each other. Time also does not spare both, and against this background, they consider their grievances a trifle. And both understand: they were on the island for a reason, and everything makes sense.
In short, the explanation of the main idea of the film is as follows: the main human resource is time and should not be wasted. This was demonstrated very well by Prisca and Guy before their death: they managed to remember the common past and the circumstances that made them want to leave. They realized that everything was passing, and in fact they had always loved each other.
Shyamalan’s interesting play on Bulgakov’s “Man is not just mortal, he is sometimes suddenly mortal.” “Time” is far from being a summer thriller, it is a film with a double, or even triple bottom, and in separate words and phrases, dramas concluded in decades are revealed.
In some analyzes and reviews, viewers also pay attention to the raised problem of ecology (we will die sooner or later, and the plastic left by us will remain for a very long time).
The Disney finale will not be here, just like the Hollywood one. And there will be a struggle for life here, and its main part will take place in the hearts of the main characters. And the meaning of this struggle is this: even if the future is taken away from us, we still continue to cling to the conditional “tomorrow”.
Frame from the film.
There is also a philosophical and religious version of the meaning of the plot of the film “Time”. Time cannot be stopped. We are born to die and we die to live forever. We are saved not by vaccines, not by medicines, but by God. The body cannot be saved (“Everything came from dust and everything will return to dust”, Ecclesiastes, verse 20).
If we understood that time is running out so fast, we would not clutch at the straw-body, but would take care of saving the soul and not waste time on fuss … That is, you should not take history literally, this is a parable.
The meaning of the ending
In the final picture of the corporation, the end came: Trent, along with his sister, managed to escape. The boy, who at the end of the film became a 50-year-old man, was helped by his friendliness, openness and phenomenal memory.
Through his friendliness, Trent met Idlib, whose uncle was in charge of testing on the island. A new friend gave Trent a coded note suggesting that his uncle didn’t like coral reefs. Unfortunately, Trent was able to decipher the note (coral reefs neutralize the anomaly of the electromagnetic field) when almost all the participants in the experiment died …
Thanks to his unique memory, Trent remembered the policeman he met at the very beginning of the picture. He immediately went to him, and he conveyed the information to his leadership. As a result, the illegal, gloomy activities of the corporation come to an end.
In principle, the explanation of the ending of the film “Time” is the simplest. The director hints that if the creation of a vaccine against the same coronavirus took not months and years, but hours, then humanity would most likely have defeated this disease long ago and would continue to live a normal life – as before.
But is a few lost lives worth saving millions?