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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Bonnie & Clyde (meets) Robin Hood

What does that make? The film that created a lot of buzz this year… In Time.

I have a weakness for futuristic, really. Then again, who doesn’t want to know what the future has in store for the human race? Robots, cyborgs, flying cars, invading planets, bottling emotions, buying time. It’s all possible in fiction, but could it be real one day?

Now let’s talk about the movie. Did it deliver? For a Hollywood treat, it was a lot better than some other recent attempts. We finally get to see Justin Timberlake act and Amanda Seyfriend get out of her comfort zone. And we finally get to see Alex Pettyfer as the bad guy, albeit a not-so-threatening one.

In a world where time –not money—is the currency, many die to keep the ‘balance’. “For a few to be immortal, many must die.” And that’s the biggest fault of man: that he wants to live forever. Only a true hero would give all the time in the world to a million others… and that’s what Will Salas does.

After he’d lived his life one day at a time, he gets a century from a stranger, which turns his life upside-down. Armed with more time than he knows what to do with, Will goes to the land of the rich and meets Sylvia, the daughter of a multi-millionaire, who is unhappily living in a bubble. In true Bonnie and Clyde style, they run from police and mafia to save the lives of those who die in the Ghetto every day.

The moral of the story is that nobody should die to keep others alive for more than they should be. Like the protagonist says, “No one should be immortal if even one person has to die.” And even though this rings true and makes us root for him, as we did for Robin Hood once, the plot seems superficial at best. This is to say, the moral’s there, and the hero is emotionally invested, but in the end, do we relate? Do we feel relief when the dynamic duo escapes, or worry when something goes wrong?

No. To me, this film was all idea and dressing. I didn’t feel the spark between the lovers. I didn’t scream for joy or cry in exasperation. Not once. The only treat for me was Cillian Murphy’s appearance. You see, the villain in my current WIP is his look-alike, and it was exciting for me to see him pull all the stops and keep me (and the protagonists) on my (and their) toes.

“I keep time,” he kept saying until he ran out of it.

And isn’t this the character that we connect with in the end? Not the one who fells the giant but the one who tries to fell the hero because he believes in something that is broken? Aren’t we all like that anyway? I’d say that the modern man is often blinded by belief, and not poisoned by justice.

If I were in Sylvia’s shoes (Amanda Seyfried, a.k.a. Bonnie), I would also want to live less but to the fullest. And if I were Will (Justin Timberlake), I would also want to give time to those who needed it. But those are old values, recycled a thousand times. There was hardly anything new in this story, and that’s why I’d give it no more than 4/10. Which is not to say you shouldn’t watch it of course.