The critically acclaimed film, In Time, depicts a plot based on the dystopian theme of the rich prospering from the misfortunes of the poor. This theme is the central idea behind the film depicting social class separation based on the amount of time one is fortunate enough to inherit. Rhetoric of space is significantly utilized during the film to incorporate the films message that life is always better in the utopian based time zones, however; this depiction also incorporates the dystopian objection to further touch on the appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos.
The film focuses on two main time zones or class levels, the rich in New Greenwich and the poor in Dayton. Wealth is measured by the amount of time one has left after turning the age of 25. In Dayton the residents are impoverished and work for every last minute to live a life always worried about the future. As for New Greenwich it is quite the opposite. These wealthy people live a life of luxury where time is not of the essence; rather it is a means to obtain the materialistic desires of the rich. Throughout the film it is evident that the plot depicts that life is better in the more advantageous wealthy zones and that these people prosper from the misfortunes of those in the most impoverished zones.
The first apparent appeal of pathos in the film is with the death of main character Will Salas’s mother, Rachel. His mother had run out of time because she couldn’t afford enough minutes to get home to meet Will and get more time. This appeals to the audience’s sense of emotion because it persuades the audience to feel sorrowful for the impoverished leading role played by Justin Timberlake. The film uses this scene to establish the dystopian theme central to the films hidden message. The next emotionally appealing scene in the film is depicted in the scene with the suicide of the wealth Henry Hamilton. His suicide and generosity appeal to the audience because it persuades them to believe that being rich and materialistic does not guarantee happiness. The death of Hamilton provides rising action to the plot because it allows main character Will Salas to enter into the world of the rich in New Greenwich because of the fortune he inherited from Hamilton. These two scenes are pivotal to the movie because they establish emotional appeal encouraging the audience’s attention to turn to the apparent disadvantages of a utopian world.
Another important appeal established in the setting of the film is with the logical depictions of the separated class zones. In the lower class time zone of Dayton people are working in factories and seem to be living in low-income housing. Death is rampant due to the poverty of the people living within the zone. In the rich time zone of New Greenwich is the most desired time zone. It is populated by the richest people with luxurious cars and houses that Will Salas has never seen before. The settings of these two spaces are very important because it allows the audience to logically determine the class differences apparent in a dystopian society. By incorporating a character that has the ability to experience these two polar opposites provides a logical description of proposed dystopian theme.
The film establishes credibility because it follows a similar dystopian structure many films before it did. One of the most important aspects in the film is with the presence of the “time keepers”. These are the police officers of time control and make sure that society maintains the status quo. In order to do this they must make sure that the impoverished stay poor and that they never interfere with the lives of the rich. These characters establish the films credibility because without them the film would lack the authority present in a dystopian structure.
Throughout the film it is evident that the film attempts to imply a message about the setting of the film. The setting of this film is similar to many of the other dystopian themed films such as 1984 and The Hunger Games. In these films alike we see an abundance of impoverished people complimented by an elite, materialistic, and wealthy society. The underlying agenda in the film In Time attempts to imply a message about our society today; that the rich continue to prosper from the poverty of the lower classes.
Rhetoric of space proves to be a significant factor throughout the film In Time. The plot is directly complimented by the depiction of the time zones utilized in the film and the strategic use of these settings provide the film with an implied message that the rich thrive on the misfortunes of the poor. The dystopian society throughout the film is a rich depiction of the shortcomings of a society based on a rich, all-powerful social class maintaining the order of a nation. In our modern day society the message implied in this film is commonly accepted by the impoverished in our country today. It serves as a good representation of the outlook of the misfortunate and the ignorance of those who throw theses viewpoints aside.