“Elysium” offers interesting social commentary, in addition to gripping storyline


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Damon’s performance elevates the film from a sci-fi action film to something deeper.

The year is 2154. Earth has become the over crowded home of the have-nots; the haves are in residence aboard a space station named Elysium. This space nation has a striking resemblance to affluent neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills Beverly Hills. The homes in Elysium are unbelievably beautiful and overly lavish; however, each home is equipped with a medical pod designed to cure everything from mosquito bites to leukemia.

The only man with the chance bring equality to these worlds is Max (Matt Damon). It’s a total downward spiral for Max when a factory floor accident exposes him to a lethal dose of radiation, netting him a whopping five days to live. Instead of counting down the days until his death, Max opts to join a plan to breach Elysium, and liberate health care for those still on Earth.

Damon brings both a convincing physicality and convincing persona to the character Max. He is able to portray a weary sense of optimism that elevates the film to a new level.


Damon was joined by actors who similarly perfected their roles. Max’s childhood friend Frey, now a nurse, (Alice Braga) and her daughter (Emma Tremblay) both engage the audience in a compelling side plot as the film progresses. While there was a missed opportunity in not having Max and Frey rekindle some kind of flame once they were reunited, the sweet and tender friendship positively adds to the film.

The story has an riveting pace that slowly immerses us into the director’s world rather than assailing us with nonstop action. Although the film does have a somewhat conventional plot, director Neill Blomkamp, who previously directed District 9, has loaded the film with allegories and social commentary on issues such as communal-health and the ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor.

These social commentaries make the film relevant and worthwhile. However, even with controversial overlaying themes, the film is executed so well that it somehow remains un-preachy.