Originally Posted by Emaych
Perhaps you have misused your "SPOILERS FOLLOW" tag -- the synopsis you present is not the movie I saw. In ELYSIUM, money does not equal "bad", rather this fable is premised on the ancient aphorism that power corrupts. Here spirituality, and/or any sense of commonality and/or right to equal opportunity of humankind has been totally eclipsed by virtue of being conferred godlike station (or alternately condemned to suffering and early death) on the basis of a corrupt closed class system. We are clearly shown that manufacturing, which we presume to be the basis of upper class wealth, has fatally contaminated the earth, which is one thing if all inhabitants are participating and reaping benefit and opting to carry forth in a democratic society, but if only one sector of humankind is accruing reward whilst condemning another purely on the basis of birth circumstances -- that would be a corruption of unbalanced power.
And I guess you could say the fouling of the Earth environment was being facilitated by Damon's character, et al. -- to survive they manufactured the means of their own oppression, just as some concentration camp inhabitants became enforcers to gain extra privilege, so we see again that even this minimal extension of power and privilege, where power is wickedly unbalanced and/or in short supply, is corrupting to principles of community and even self interest. One could further postulate that the way it ends resolves Damon's capitulation in a classic manner whilst still elevating redemptive hope through sacrifice, so I don't quite get where this left-messaging claim arises. In fact, one might say the furthest right representatives currently wielding some sway in our public discourse, are known precisely for sounding this kind of warning that an overreaching, intrusive, manipulating and controlling government, which strips its citizens of all types of mobility, is the greatest threat.
No doubt Elysium is a morality play in observation of humanity -- don't think you can extrapolate a neat polarized polemic from it.
You're reading too much into this movie. It's a simple story of class division and border control.
Neill Blomkamp: Yeah, it’s like, you know, these organic things that just sort of — you never really know when they begin or end, to a degree. I got arrested in Tijuana like — but no, it wasn’t really fair, because I hadn’t done anything. I just got — I got “shaken down” would be a better description, I think. And I ended up walking along weirdly, like, quite close to the U.S. border, and at night with, like, Black Hawks flying up and down because of the naval base. And that was when I was 25, so that was before District 9. And I always thought that that image and that concept, you know, that an hour before I was on the other side of the fence, stuck with me so much that I thought some day that would turn into something. And essentially Elysium really is that, you know, it’s that event.
You been so secretive about this film, Neill. What can you say about it now?
Neill Blomkamp: "It’s a film about an orbital space station that has the rich living on it, and Earth is diseased and has been left behind with the money and the resources having left. Matt is from Earth and Jodie is from the space station."
What sort of themes are you addressing with the rich versus the poor storyline?
Neill Blomkamp: "The film definitely has elements of the haves and the have nots, and the discrepancy in wealth that seems to be a widening gap. But, hopefully it is a film where that is woven into the tapestry of the story in a way that feels like an organic science fiction thrill ride. The themes are touched upon, hopefully in a fairly realistic, not over-the-top way."
Jodie Foster: "It’s a tough trick to be able to create an intelligent movie that has socio-political commentary and also has the emotional and moving stuff at the same time. That’s something that Neill does. This film is very different than District 9 and addresses some of those issues in a very different way, but they share that mixture of sensibilities."
Matt Damon: "I think it, first and foremost, will be really entertaining and really work on that level. It certainly has a lot of relevance. Funnily enough, the whole terminology of the 99% and the 1% wasn’t even there when we started. I just remember Neill, the first time I met him, said, 'I grew up in South Africa and I immigrated to Canada when I was 18. And to go from the third world to the first world, at that age, absolutely changed the way that I look at the world.' The sci-fi world and the gore is all the stuff that he loves, so what he’s thinking about gets expressed that way."
“I thought ‘District 9′ was probably the most perfect movie that I had seen in a really long time, and I just really wanted to be in his next movie,” Foster says, but the actress also notes that the film’s social message was a major draw for her.
“The film has such a strong sociopolitical murmur, and it has such a strong insight into the ‘haves and have-nots,’ ” Foster says.
Blomkamp simply doesn't have the subtlety that your analysis infers he does. Both Elysium and District 9, while entertaining, are nothing but straightforward political commentary. Even the official website for the movie makes these points.