Saturday, 28 September 2013

Film Review - Elysium

Present Day Sci-Fi Tale

Film: Elysium
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Duration: 1 hr 49 mins
Rating: * * * 1 / 2

Director Neill Blomkamp made a super debut with District 9 which surely ranks in the list of greatest science fiction films of all time. Much like that film, while Elysium appears to be more ‘sci-fi’ on the outside, it also raises questions about the present day society and tackles political themes as well.

The story is set the future but as Blomkamp said in an interview, “This isn't science fiction. This is today. This is now."

Set in 2154 where the earth is ravaged and the rich people have moved to a space habitat called Elysium, which is swanky, spotlessly clean and disease free. The earth meanwhile is exactly the opposite and those who don’t have the wealthy resources to go to Elysium are stuck here.

Jodie Foster plays a ruthless Secretary of Defense who is planning a coup to over throw the president  on Elysium. Max (Matt Damon) works for at a factory and gets exposed to radiation, A robot very matter of factly tells him that he will die in five days.

But Max knows there is a way out – he can be treated on Elysium and hence takes help from a non official source. A mercenary (Sharlto Copley) has the mission to finish off Max who manages to ‘download’ some vital information.

Visually, Elysium looks stunning, the science fiction elements and the futuristic designs are innovative.While there is plenty of action, towards the end the film gravitates towards being a Hollywood actioner but the foundation laid earlier, gives it an edge. It is that ‘extra’ which Elysium has to offer in terms of socio-political issues that it raises which makes it a cut about the rest.

Jodie Foster is convincing as the calm and power hungry lady, you wouldn’t want to be near such a character. Matt Damon has done plenty of action films and as always, he is on the money. Sharlto Copley is a very good actor who has not been seen much after District 9, although we’ll see him soon the remake of Oldboy.

So here’s another film that is eminently worth your time and money.

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