Elysium (2013)

August 26, 2013 at 10:25 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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I went to see Elysium the other day and it had its moments.

Warning: plot elements revealed.

The first half of the film raises some awkward questions for our time, and the second have is just action.

Max (Matt Damon) is a young man trying to better himself, in a world with a few ‘haves’ and many many ‘have nots’. The ‘haves’ live in a paradise, and everyone else – including Max – is trying to get in. Moral dilemma #1: when resources are limited, how should they be portioned out? In Max’s world, the resources are reserved for a few on a massive man-made satellite named Elysium.

Delacourt (Jody Foster) is charged with protecting the privileges of the privileged few. She is so sure that she is right and that it must be done her way. Moral dilemma #2: does the end justify the means? Delacourt attempts to take over Elysium – to over throw the elected government, to protect it.

Elysium is unpolluted and its technology is ‘like magic’ – particularly the medical technology. This provides the premise for the movie – Max has sustained a lethal dose of radiation in an industrial accident and if he wants to live he must get to Elysium and its medical technology. There are all sorts of complications but he gets there.

Earth is portrayed as a slum – not too surprising given that this is a Neill Blomkamp (director and writer of District 9) film. There seem to be some subtle and not so subtle digs at the South African government.

Max and Delacourt are a bit two dimensional. The villain – Kruger – played a little over-the-top by Sharlto Copley offers some black contrast.

The futuristic gadgets, weaponry and general technology look very real – great special effects. The slums look very real.

Worth seeing in a cinema for the bigger screen and fuller sound.

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