Don’t Waste My Time…

What if you had more time on that clock?  Don’t waste my time.  – Henry Hamilton, In Time

What if Bonnie and Clyde happened in the future – or in an alternate universe – and instead of stealing money, they stole time?  This is the premise of In-Time, a sci-fi action/drama in the vein of Logan’s Run, Soylent Green, and The Island.

Welcome to the world of Will Silas, a future where everyone stops aging at 25 when their personal – one year – clock starts ticking down.  In this future time is currency and Will never has enough, until he saves a man named Henry Hamilton – Matt Bomber – from a fight in a bar.  Henry has 100+ years left on his clock, at 105.  Henry asks Will what he would do with more time on the clock then gifts him the remaining 100 years on his clock, asking but one thing of him:  Don’t waste my time.

Will doesn’t waste it, but rather goes in search of those in another zone that he deems responsible for the way everyone else lives intent on restitution; it’s very Mockingjay actually.

While many who watch this film will likely zero in on the politics present – the classist divisions similar to this summer’s Elysium – I only mention they exist to acknowledge the worldview of the writers and director of the film; there is more present than just politics.  In the Alex Proyas directed I, Robot, the hologram of the deceased doctor – Alfred Lanning – makes it a point to ensure the detective investigating his murder asks the right questions by withholding the release of prerecorded information the detective needs to solve the case unless the right question is asked.  With that in mind what is the question In Time presents that must be asked?  What is the question that is swimming below the surface?  Is it a question of class?  Is it a question of politics?  I’d argue that it’s neither, that it’s something else.  The question the movie asks is “what are you doing with your time?”

In an interrogation scene with Cillian Murphy’s Timekeeper character, Will Silas states that Henry Hamilton gave him his time – the truth – as opposed to the claim of the Timekeeper that Silas stole it, and subsequently the time is taken from him.  Whatever Will Silas planned to do with the time, he needs to get it back.  Thus ensues the Bonnie and Clyde spree to steal time.  On the run with the daughter of a financial magnate – played by Vincent Kartheiser of Angel and Mad Men – Amanda Seyfreid’s character enables access to locked away time, which fuels the rest of the film. 

In the book Future Noir:  The Making of Blade Runner, Paul Sammon writes that films are excellent vehicles through which to ask questions, but not the best avenues to answer the questions they sometimes ask.  The answer to the question of “what are you doing with your time?” and the admonition to not waste the time your given is unfortunately never answered to my liking.  Nevertheless, the worthiness of the question stands.

What do you do with your time; do you waste it?


Posted on by Aaron in Uncategorized

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

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