Elysium (2013)

A moving modern aged sci-fi thriller that encompasses humanity’s dire conditions with socialism that reaches for the stars and back!

Elysium

Tri-Star Pictures in association with Alphacore, Media Rights Capital and QED International present…

The year is 2154…

This is the ugly truth of humanity on how they downplay empathy for apathy as the Earth a barren wasteland, densely populated by the urban poor! Towering skyscrapers now turned into a squatters area as they inch their way in every floor, forced placing their own shanties for protection and for survival! While the elite and the wealthiest with plenty of assets to spare, living in cornucopia created their own “heaven” in an orbital space station and they named it “Elysium”!

As the world withers away, two children, Max and a girl named Frey were brought up by a kindly Nun finding a new home gives them strength and friendship. They were dreaming for the stars and hoping that one day they will reach them as the boy gave promise and hope that this kind of life will be no more and that there will be vindication.

Written, directed and produced by Neill Blomkamp (District 9) a clear trifecta, he returns once more in another pulsating sci-fi thriller that literally speaks to the world about poverty, equality, discrimination and everything in the “Maslowe’s Hierarchy of Needs”! Set in the outskirts of Mexico to front as a withered Los Angeles, the Director brings another compelling tale of a man’s journey and the epiphany that comes with it! Neill has a desire to send a message to the people about the harsh reality we live in, although it is being relayed in terms of a fictionalized standpoint, it still does give meaning of how we need to contemplate on social awareness behest the urge of the “survival of the fittest” coined by Herbert Spencer when push comes to shove!

The Director once more was able to properly utilize the right amount of VFX to be used to add more dimensions and to provide an idea that this film isn’t light years away but rather on a distant future that is grounded, gritty and real as it gets! Image Engine Design together with the best in the field: WETA Digital and Industrial Light & Magic collaborated with futurist designer Syd Mead to take on the look of a space station habitat intended for the cream of the crop of society, the inclusion of robot police, stylized weaponry and vehicles that allows you to experience it’s theme without the need to crack open your skull!

Speaking of which, Concept Artist Aaron Beck of WETA has transcended the face of the future, as he unlocks one of the major themes which involves transhumanism, a gathering of minds and views that has both detractors and supporters rooting for this next in line evolution of man to exceed further the boundaries of intellectual, physical and psychological platforms as it actually deals with perfecting the human condition.

Aaron was able to synergize his ideas with Neill as they were able to bring forth the means to augment the human body’s strength by actually incorporating contraptions literally through the bones and skin that has a visceral output, gaining a transition from mechanical / exo-skeleton technology set to pave the pave the way for more advanced types like nano-tech and bio-engineering advancements!

So what will you do when you are at the precipice of your life? Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity) is Max Da Costa, a common thief and law breaker who currently tries to rectify his misgivings and change for the better! Max gets up in the morning, puts on his jumpsuit and heads to work in a robot manufacturing factory named Armadyne headed by the callous CEO John Carlyle played by William Fichtner (Equilibrium) that by the way does a miserable job in keeping people in line!

The character was actually offered to Matt when Ninja and Eminem (modern day rappers) both passed up the role. It serves well that Matt has this ability to convey the imagination of the story on a personal level seeing films like “The Rainmaker”, “Good Will Hunting”, the “Bourne” film series, “The Adjustment Bureau” gives him the chance to let the audience relate deeper with his character.

His childhood friend and love has grown weary of the place and after years, she came back to at least help those inside the worn down hospital. Alice Braga (On the Road) as Frey Santiago, a compassionate and selfless person who has a dilemma to get to Elysium and find a way for her daughter to be cured. Then she bumped in with an old friend making it elaborate and give a better picture of what things has yet to come! Alice also has a list of indie films that are controversial by content but still given recognition for its message like “City of God”, “Repo Men” and “Lower City”, a film which she also shares with co-star Wagner Moura (Elite Squad) as Spider, an illegal smuggler with seeming good intentions for the human race!

Elysium’s privately own “Death Police”, Sharlto Copley (The A-Team) plays Agent C.M. Kruger, this is what happens when “Murdock” finally losses his sanity, gets his own team of mercenaries and puts on a mech suit! He returns to team up with former Director and friend to harness another eye-opening agenda as his cadre are poised to seek out and destroy all those who would try to gatecrash the party which is guarded by the multi talented and awarded Jodie Foster (Contact) as Secretary of Defense Jessica Delacourt, brings her villainy into the big screen! But to be honest, I am not a big fan since I find her acting stiff and monotonous. Known for her roles the depicts both courage, will and compassion she uses these for now to allow herself to be lifted in a pedestal to gain even more power and control over the hapless citizens of this floating “life star”!

The film still has the same message from their previous outing which was juxtaposed with isolation and the people who wants to live opulently while hundreds of millions suffer from hunger and medical attention! Originally, the concept of the premise was just to alienate the two warring factions of society but it does give further credence to see something so beautiful and awe-aspiring when you look at the sky only to find that there is nothing left in this dying rock for you to look forward to but to die miserably! There is the separation, the anxiety and desperation to seek out a chance to have a better life, to gain access to your needs with emphasis on food, shelter and health care privileges. With this as its backdrop, all has its ending and for Max’s journey, his promise and his dreams ripples out further to the cosmos and back to Earth to claim and continue the fight for human dignity and equality. You can rest now Max…

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2 thoughts on “Elysium (2013)

  1. We can say whatever floats his boat, surely enough providing social awareness to the viewers especially in these kind of issues is one thing but it may work well with his straight arrow approach. Thanks Abbi! All the best.

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