– FIRST IMPRESSION RATING

When I first saw the trailer to this in the lengthy adverts before another film at the cinema, I remember thinking ‘nice concept, but I’m probably not going to watch this’. I think I was very quick to classify it as one of those weird films that might just flop a bit. And to be honest, the attention it got over the next few months very much depicted it as just that. Nobody said much about it. I ruled it out as a random film starring Justin Timberlake.

As I later discovered when I did watch this, this was a big mistake. And I will confess that the reason I did decide to watch it was because I’m a big lover of Cillian Murphy, not just because of his bright blue eyes or on account of him being Irish (though I fully appreciate both of those facts), but because he is a chameleonic actor with impeccable artistic integrity. And it turns out that this film is no exception to his meaningful taste in films. (Bear in mind, the following image is not him, and credit elsewhere for the photo.)

The first thing that hit me about the film is the concept. It plays on the idea of time being money – it is basically the currency of the world. You pay for coffees with time. Your wages come in as time. People are murdered for their time. The whole point is it allows you to address the concept of money in the form of human lives and a much more personal emotive perspective. Clever. It was clever. And it worked.

Without giving too much of the plot away, within the world, you have different zones of people – the first zone housing the people with the most time, and the last with the least time. To cross zones, you must have enough time. It’s playing on a bit of the socio-economic statuses there. And it’s very political. This brings me to the reason it was not so well received as I believe it deserved to be. It is a dangerous film. It contains themes on revolution, wealth, class, elitism, etc. Currently, we live in a world where all of these things are pretty ripe, and the opinions differ profusely. And this film tells it how it is, in a different perspective, in a fictional world. And so I completely admire the concept, because it does point out some serious issues we have with society nowadays. Some would say it has a socialist twist on it, but I think we would be blind to say that the points the film addresses are not present, and true to a certain extent. I will talk about some other technical things, but I would urge you to watch this film purely for the concept. It was intelligently done. It was different.

I won’t say much about the acting. Decent enough. I think Justin Timberlake makes a better actor than he does a musician, but that’s just my opinion (please don’t hurt me). And I’m also not totally transfixed by Amanda Seyfried, but she’s a good actress, I suppose. I actually liked Vincent Kartheiser. But that’s the only role which really stood out for me.

Cinematography-wise, I liked it. It wasn’t Skyfall, but it definitely wasn’t as tacky as some science fiction films can be. They did well to depict a futuristic kind of area, but also create that division between rich and poor zones.

The film wasn’t really focused on the cinematography or the acting as much it was the story that stood out. And it’s nice when a film can boast of a good story and more importantly, a strong message. It’s a film that seemed to me like it meant something, and that it could inspire something. In a very contemporary way, it depicted some very important social issues nowadays that we tend to ignore, but are actually part of everyone’s lives. It was dangerous, and it did depict revolution, but the point was that it provokes some sort of response in you. There should be more films like that. So I would suggest you treasure this one and give it a watch.

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