Elysium (2013) - A Marxist Tale
Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium (2013) is an interesting depiction of an age-old story, the fight against the bourgeoisie for equality. Drawing upon traditional ethical and moral rhetoric, Blomkamp uses fantastic imagery and subtle overtones dealing with complex, societal issues. Elysium relies on the spectator's familiarity with justice, their desire for a utopia that may never exist. With a visual appeal similar to District 9, this chaotic dystopia is juxtaposed with the segregation of the masses, to bring to perspective a world of unequivocal injustice and inequality. Much like the aliens were segregated in District 9, so are the humans in Elysium by other humans.
Elysium was done in the same inspirational tone of District 9, Blomkamp's masterpiece. Blomkamp shoots this in the same visually appealing, semi-raw footage technique that expresses the realism. Not only is Blomkamp fascinated by the moral theme, he's also interested in technology. Just like in District 9, highly advanced theoretical weapons and vehicles are created in order to synthesize a world of total technological determinance. Not only is there complete control over the human condition, health, morality, and consciousness, but also the instruments needed to demolish it. Blomkamp gives life to a world of total technological immersion.
There seems to be a prevailing condition and an addiction to the idea of one man rising up to change the fate of the entire human race. This film draws upon strong Marxist struggles between the rich (in Elysium) and the poor (Damon). Forced into an irrevocable position, Damon must be the patriot of Earth. Chosen to be the hero, Damon's anti-hero must change his ways in order to effect change. In an overtly unjust world, a world separated both by miles and space, a revolution will always occur and Damon is thrust in a world determined to maintain this enormous divide.
The status quo needs to be abolished completely in order to ensure the existence and prevalence of humanity. Within each of us lies the innate desire for fairness, equality and justice, but all of that comes at a cost, a sacrifice. In the Marxist tradition, like in Elysium, the proletariat struggle and devotion to the one true cause of uniformity and equality is such an ideal struggle that sacrifices must be made: the destruction of a hierarchical-based social system which is contradictory to human nature, why? Humans thrive on competition and absolutely love to prove that they are better, smarter, and wealthier than others.
Elysium Greek Mythology
The Elysium is a powerful concept going as far back as the Ancient Greek literature. So what does Elysium mean? The following, taken from TalesBeyondBelief.com, is a summation of the term "Elysium":
Elysium was the Ancient Greek paradise originally reserved for the heroes of Greek Mythology to whom the gods had granted immortality. According to ancient Greek mythology Elysium delighted in a perpetual spring and shady groves, with its own sun and lit by its own stars. Elysium was the land of perfect happiness was also the imagined dwelling place for those who had lived a righteous life. - Tales Beyond Belief
Full of meaning, Max must find a way to destroy Elysium. In a way, Max is a representative of the underworld (i.e. Earth) and his task is to ensure the destruction of Elysium. If Elysium is a paradise, why would Max destroy it? Paradise comes at a great cost and this cost is naturally human preservation, justice, and equality. Although Elysium was constructed to ensure the survival of humanity, it merely ensured the survival of the "chosen" ones. Blomkamp's "Elysium" is a concept that redefines paradise--it is a place of heroes, of mythical beings and people who have made a change in the world. When Elysium is filled with the unrighteous, ignorant and elitist group of people, naturally it must be destroyed.
A very interesting story of Marxism combined with Greek Mythology, you can expect Blomkamp's Elysium as a real highlight!