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We’ve all heard the saying “time is money”; Andrew Niccol’s science-fiction movie In Time brings this ubiquitous phrase to life. Set in the next century, the film’s characters are born with 25 years to live, must work to gain extra time, and spend their precious minutes on food, clothes, housing, and, for a lucky few, luxury.

Will Salas, a ghetto resident excellently incarnated by Justin Timberlake, is given 116 years by a rich but suicidal man one night in his sleep. Consequentially a murder suspect, Will takes leave for the affluent district of New Greenwich, where he meets a wealthy banker and falls in love with Sylvia, the finance magnate’s daughter. Coming from a neighborhood where people regularly run out of time and drop dead, Will is astounded by New Greenwich, yet revolted. So, accompanied by his new mistress, he sets off to do justice by pillaging Sylvia’s father’s banks and distributing time to the plebeians of his home neighborhood.

I’m not a fan of science-fiction, and had it not been for multiple recommendations, I would’ve never watched In Time. This movie, however, uses the genre well, turning fantasy into philosophy, showing both our dependence on money and its blatantly unequal distribution (compacted into the memorable phrase “For a few to be immortal, many must die”). The plot’s metamorphosis into a love story between two do-gooders was unfortunate, though. It seemed so predictable I wasn’t expecting it to actually happen. Well, it did, leaving me slightly annoyed, but the film’s originality and message remained intact. Whether you’re a sci-fi geek or prefer intellectual Palme d’Or winners, I would recommend this film, whose fictive society so eerily resembles our own.

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