Thrilling, visceral, furious and baffling, this movie on Netflix will make your heart skip a beat

No one knows what the future will be like, of course, however in the face of increasingly darker scenarios, in which man is ruthless about destroying everything that exists and still manages to kill in the egg what could become the beginning of less imprecise times, there is a consensus among the scientific community and observers of the things of their time, laymen, but quite astute, as to expect the worst. Droughts that are not a truce and harass crops, making the price of food extremely expensive; floods that also ruin crops, in addition to leaving a trail of thousands of homeless; tyrants whose liberticide temptations extend far beyond the borders of their domains, defended at the cost of cowardly wars; plagues that surprise humanity on the other hand and annihilate millions until antidotes are discovered: the possibilities of everything getting irremediably out of control are so diverse that the mere mention of the subject generates an instant unease, which most people do not know how to deal with. .

Condemned to life in extreme conditions, the human race resists as much as it can, crammed into increasingly taller buildings with increasingly tiny apartments for which it pays a good part of its salary, outdated thanks to reckless economic policies, from which it seeks to escape as little as possible, so as not to be hunted by thieves and thicken the statistics with no chance of feeling less exposed, since the police are not interested. The demonstrably flawed methods of the police forces account for the ills denounced by “Elysium” (2013); however, Neill Blomkamp’s film is much more. One of the best told stories about the uncertainty that surrounds the population around the world, aggravated by wounds very typical of post-modernity, the film is a mixture of many of the elements that both arouse disparate and complementary emotions, such as love and hatred of one another, hampered by the inescapable reality that money is the criterion that saves some and loses many.

“Elysium” is a collection of exquisite sequences, in which the special effects of a team of more than one hundred technicians help Blomkamp to print all the realism that plots like this demand. The choices that the screenwriter-director makes with regard to the narrative itself, as well as, of course, the aesthetic refinement make the plot, more than believable, completely organic. In 2154, no one in their right mind would live on Earth, and that’s an alternative, but not for everyone. The place to which the title of the film refers is an extraplanetary colony forbidden to salaried workers, workers without qualifications that allow them to find a good position, or any other category of social disadvantage. Among them is Max, the ex-car thief played with touching delivery by Matt Damon. Now regenerated, with a prison panic that only the truly repentant develops, Max could see Elysium from the humble neighborhood where he grew up, in a Los Angeles that today mirrors in appearance the moral degradation with which he had always lived well. Raised in an orphanage, Blomkamp prepares his audience for what will come next through flashbacks in which little Max talks to the nun he has grown fond of about the passage of time, moves that lend themselves to composing the protagonist’s lyrical self.

As his boss tells him, between paternal and sarcastic, Max is lucky to have gotten honest employment in a factory making exoskeletons, used as an extension of the body by humans in the 22nd century, and, to be fair, he values ​​the opportunity, so much so that , when a machine has a bug, the boss urges him to delve into the bowels of the contraption and repair the malfunction. Sensing the setback that actually happens, Damon’s anti-hero suffers a burst of radiation that could kill him in five days, unless he gets a ticket to the new world, where treatments for diseases like these are commonplace and the chances of success.

This is the trigger for the second act, in which Frey, a former childhood friend with a similar background to the central character, but who managed to overcome abandonment and become a nurse and Spider, a kind of coyote, an intermediary who carries earthlings to Elysium clandestinely. The two Brazilians in the cast are in opposite camps. While Alice Braga gives life to a young woman full of conflicts — coming to terms with the slow and painful death of her young daughter, succumbing to terminal leukemia, is certainly the biggest, but not the only one — Wagner Moura seems very comfortable in the role of the classic antagonist, evil and unapologetic.

In the same way that “District 9” (2009), Blomkamp treated apartheid as a social hecatomb of proportions that went beyond the context of his native South Africa, here the director understands poverty as the tragedy that it actually is, echoing to iconic productions in the history of cinema, such as “Metropolis” (1927), by Fritz Lang (1890-1976), when approaching the objectification of man and the lumpenproletariat. There were also “Chappie” (2015) and “Rakka” (2017), also marked by scathing (and pertinent) criticisms of capitalism, its solitude and its crimes.


Movie: Elysium
Direction: Neill Blomkamp
Year: 2013
Genres: Thriller/Science Fiction/Drama/Action
Note: 8/10

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