Paradise (2023)

Paradise (2023)


A German anti-capitalist sci-fi thriller that lacks compelling & consistent characters



Germany, Lithuania
English, German
Action, Science Fiction, Thriller
Alina Levshin, Corinna Kirchhoff, Iris Berben
117 min


Even the Germans can’t save the premise of In Time.

What it's about

In a world where time can be exchanged for money, donation manager Max desperately seeks 40 years for his wife after they get into financial trouble.

The take

For those familiar with the movie In Time, this German Netflix thriller has a similar premise, but with a few changes. Time is exchanged for money, instead of entirely replacing it. Time donation also acts more like blood donation – there needs some DNA compatibility to do so and more prominent individuals are prioritized for these exchanges. Paradise’s world also hasn’t figured out how to completely stop aging. These changes come with a side of more overt anti-capitalist commentary, so the movie could have had a more focused and critical approach to the time donation. However, like In Time, Paradise quickly devolves into the sci-fi thriller shenanigans we’re all familiar with, but without any of the spectacle.

What stands out

Paradise will be remembered as the German In Time because of the similarities in its premise, but what stands out is that Paradise doesn’t have the fun nor the watchability of In Time. While the film’s couple are understandably going through terrible times, it’s hard to root for the main couple when they haven’t established a compelling chemistry between the actors, even before Elena got her forced time exchange. It’s also hard to root for the main character Max when it’s clear that he’s complicit in the system that oppresses them. The film also doesn’t have any cool action spectacles to keep its audience’s attention.

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