• Sundeep Bhatia

A Review of Elysium

I saw Elysium last night at the local multiplex. A friend was going and my family is out of the country so I thought why not join him. Cinema is a rare distraction both financially ,and time wise,when you are a father of twins. As homework I finally watched “District 9 “which I have been meaning to watch for years. That is a humorous character driven low budget allegory about apartheid ,using a sci fi setting and filmed in the slum townships of South Africa. It shares the same director as “Elysium.” Elysium is also an allegory about apartheid ,using a sci-fi and ecological backdrop and filmed in the slum townships of South Africa. However,on the back of the success of “District 9”,the big guns have been rolled out. Hollywood hotshots,Matt Damon and Jody Foster have been cast and a larger special effects budget has been allocated. Unfortunately what has been removed from Elysium is what made District 9 watchable. There is zero character developement in the new film.No time is spent on fleshing out the characters or in making them sympathetic. Both Damon and Foster dial in their roles whilst making the best of their underwritten roles. Damon plays a reformed delinquent living on a polluted diseased ridden earth whilst Jody Foster is the pantomime baddy Defence minister of an idyllic space station revolving the earth where all the rich people have gone to live. The people of Elysium enjoy perfect health whilst the people of earth drown in a sea of despondency. The failure to flesh out the characters is the ultimate downfall of this film. Science fiction,like any other genre,requires empathetic characters ,and humour, if it is to succeed. That is why Star Trek and Star Wars are such big successes. In this film I was bored because I did not care for the characters. In the midst of the battle scenes I was looking at my watch whilst stifling yawns. This is a film to avoid.Do not even wait for the Blu-Ray/DVD. Hire “District 9″or a Star Wars movie instead.

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