Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Futuristic Movies

I've seen two very interesting movies in the last week:  In Time and The Hunger Games.

In Time stars Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.  Justin lives in the ghetto and Amanda is a cosseted rich girl.  The whole currency in this world is time.  When you turn 25, suddenly this glowing green clock embedded in the tissue of your arm turns on and the length of your life is measured by that clock.  People work and steal to keep their clocks filled with time, and when your clock turns to zero you are dead where you fall.

First of all, it is a very odd world indeed when everyone looks 25 forever and parents and children all look the same age.  (Olivia Wilde plays Justin's mother!)  This was an intriguing concept, but left me with some questions.  Who decided 25 is the optimum age when everyone looks and feels their best?  What is the purpose of this system, i.e., to keep the population small, to encourage people to work hard to gain more time? The system certainly is flawed because you still have people stealing and killing for more time and lots of people who somehow have centuries on their clocks, and even if you look 25, living forever can get tiresome.

I waited until the crowds died down before slipping into a theater to see The Hunger Games.  I haven't read any of the books, so this was an entirely new world for me.  Katniss is indeed a great, strong female character, with a compassionate core.  The story and the characters were very engaging and made me care what happened to them.  The game is very real and scary, and thankfully most of the scenes where kids were killing kids brutally were blurred so that you didn't see all the details.  This world also consists of extremely poor people and decadent rich folks (with oddly colorful hairdos).  Running through the tale is a commentary on the way reality is manipulated for entertainment purposes.

I found it interesting that both of these futuristic movies showed such clearly defined borders between the haves and the have-nots.  Either you are rich beyond measure and are decadent with impunity, or you are living in squalor and struggling every moment to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head.  Clearly, we aren't the only ones noticing the gap between the 99% and the 1%.

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