Tuesday, August 27, 2013

D.S. Brown - Movie Review - Elysium

I went to see a movie that featured a conflict between sacred sci-fi concepts, the dystopian future, and the technologically advanced utopian society.  I went expecting to see this conflict played out through the filter of human turmoil and struggle.  I was not disappointed.

There are many who did not like Elysium.  There are many out there who did not like the special effects.  There are those who did not like the melodrama.  There are many who said the acting was less than par.  There are many who could not suspend their disbelief and simply enjoy themselves.  Some of these people are national film critics.  Some of these people are regular moviegoers.  I firmly believe these people don’t like movies.

I must digress on this point from the subject matter in order to clarify my statement.  We go to the movies to be entertained, to enjoy ourselves.  We look for messages and meaning.  We often seek a greater understanding of ourselves.  However, though lofty ambition for high art and rationalization of existence can be sought and should sought in the entertainment we create we must not lose sight of the fact that most often we go to the movies to have fun, to engage in the fantastical.

With that basis I return to the subject matter and declare Elysium a tremendous success.  The clash of cultures, the maximization of the divide between haves and have-nots that is so dramatic in our own reality gives rise to the ultimate disunity in this movie.  The rich or so damn rich they’ve left the whole planet behind.  They rest of us live on Earth, in the trash.

Still, in this trash of a world there is beauty, there is love, and there is hope.  We persist against those that use the labor of the masses to preserve their control and perpetuate their existence.  Unfortunately, their avarice has not improved their morality and the base nature of our very existence defines a path to ruin for the stratified higher society. 

See Elysium and know that hope hungers and grows amongst the criminals and monsters who seek a better life, conflicted with a desire to be good even as they engage in criminality.

See Elysium and know that ambition flowers in the cold warrens of the elite, and that those with power wield it against the teeming masses, and themselves, giving rise to betrayal and eventual defeat. 

See Elysium and know that Matt Damon is the unfortunate hero, filled with desire, needing to be good, striving to live, destined to do a great thing as a matter of circumstance. 

These are lofty words for this sci-fi film, but I feel they are justified.  I thoroughly enjoyed Elysium from start to finish.  It was poignant, loving, loud, and messy. It satisfies the need for action and tugs at the heart strings for a hoped-for higher humanity.  It was an excellent ride.  If you like movies, if you like sci-fi, if you enjoy seeing the fantastical when it’s done well, you will enjoy this movie.  Go see Elysium.

The Aspiring Critical Thinker,
D.S. Brown

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