If the possibility of knowing exactly how much time there is left until the end of your life, would you choose to have access to this piece of information, or would you rather be kept in the dark about it and live your life as it comes? It’s a question that many literary as well as cinematographic works have explored over the past decades, to the point that the subject no longer feels novel. However, ‘Time Left‘ brings back the discussion, albeit with a twist – in a not too distant future, a special device has been freely commercialised to the world populace. The VEDA watch does indeed tell everyone how much time they have left of their lives, but the figure is a variable rather than a constant. It works in real time, and each action that one undertakes or is about to undertake has a positive or negative impact on the lifespan – eat a donut instead of an orange, and you will see your ours left on the Earth decrease rather than increase. It might seem a bit too simplistic at first sight, but bear with us – it works very well within the context.
The film starts by following the everyday life of a young man who is obsessed about doing everything in his power to increase the life expectancy shown by his VEDA watch. He is rather successful at this endeavour, but his extremely strict and routinized behaviour means that he is not exactly happy. Life is simply a non-stop series of attempts to boost the number of his remaining days, and very little, if any, thrills and memorable, routine-breaking moments. He then meets a woman while waiting for his clothes to be washed at the local laundromat, and immediately notices a chemistry between them. All seems great and rosy, until he glances at his watch, which indicates a dramatic decrease every time he’s about to further the conversation with the woman. He has a tough decision to make as a result.
‘Time Left’ might involve a romantic case study which may or may not seem a bit cheesy at times, but what it does best is making us reflect on our own lives, and the bits and pieces that constitute our existence. Life is a constant series of decisions, big or small, and any can radically affect the entire remaining course of our lives. Roxana Bazgoneh’s project makes one think about trade-offs, balance and choices. It asks the question of whether it is worth to live a long but self-centred life, or share it with loved ones and a few compromises, at some uncertain cost. The short film is less about the technical details which such a device would entail, and more about the meaning between how each and everyone of us chooses to lead their life. On top of these qualities, ‘Time Left’ also delights with beautiful visuals, great direction and very well interpreted roles by both the main actors. For all these strengths, and on top of all, for making us think, we decided to choose ‘Time Left’ as the winning entry for our November 2017 Film of the Month category.