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Similarities between Elysium and Real Life

Updated on February 24, 2014

The Haves and Have Nots

With the continued deterioration of planet Earth, Elysium, a space haven is created. But Elysium is only occupied by the rich who have access to the best medical care, security, houses with expansive lawns and where attending classy suares and charity balls are the order of the day. Meanwhile on the ravaged Earth climatic conditions are harsh, living conditions are poor, jobs are low paying and dangerous, and vice is the norm of the day.

As much as you may want to burry your head in the sand the movie depicts how real life is to a tee. In real life money is the defining factor where the rich get the best of everything be it housing, medical cover, employment, education or food. While the poor are just struggling to get by and take whatever they can get. After all beggars cannot be choosers.

Everyone Wants to Live the Dream

Throughout the film we are shown how everyone wants to go to Elysium for one reason or another. For them going to Elysium is their dream. This has even led one of the film’s characters, Spider, to start the illegal business of transporting people to Elysium. It is also witnessed in the scene where Max Da Costa and his love interest, Frey, are depicted as young children and Max promises Frey that one day he will take them to Elysium.

In real life the situation is similar. For instance take a look at the rising immigration rates to western countries. People are constantly moving to such countries whether in a legal or illegal manner with the hope of attaining better jobs, education or lives so that they can achieve the dream of being successful. This is because such countries provide liberties, which they have not experienced in their own countries, and provides opportunities to pursue their dream and be successful.

Lack of Empathy and Sympathy

A variety of scenes in the film caught my eye. The first is when three illegal space crafts attempt to enter Elysium the secretary of defense for Elysium, Delacourt, orders her people to shoot the space crafts down without even showing any sympathy or empathy for the people on the crafts. Her coldness is further shown when she does not show any remorse for her actions when she is called by the president of Elysium to explain and justify her actions.

Another scene is where the films main protagonist, Max Da Costa, is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation while at work. When his employer, John Carlyle, goes to check what is happening in the infirmary he asks the manager whether his (Max) skin is sloughing off because he does not want to have to change the sheets.

Real life situations depict how people do not show any real empathy or sympathy towards others. We are all guilty of this in one way or another. We have become too selfish, too self-engrossed. It is not too late to change!

Only You Can Change the World

At first Max Da Costa’s intentions are purely selfish only wanting to exchange the information in his head to cure his radiation poisoning. However towards the end of the film he changes his mind so as to save Frey’s daughter, Matilda, who is terminally ill because of his love for Frey and therefore sacrifices himself.

I believe that one person can change the world for better or worse. In real life we do have these heroes, they may play a small or a big role but they have affected the world in some way. It may be a billionaire who chooses to give out his entire wealth, a girl scout selling cookies to raise funds for charity, a president who champions environmental causes and policies, a lawyer who defends the weak, parents raising their kids the right way, a volunteer who champions for animal rights or a simple tweet or post that makes someone laugh or inspires people. So be the change you want to see!

The Oppressed Will Always Rise Up and Triumph

In the film the citizens of Elysium represent the oppressors while citizens on Earth represent the oppressed that are constantly living under the shadow of Elysians. In the end Max teams up with Spider and his friends in order to save everyone on Earth. It shows how people can come together despite their differences to defeat a common enemy.

Throughout the Earths’ history of civilizations there have been countless downfalls due to the slow but progressive rise of the people who feel oppressed. Recent examples of such rises in real life include the Occupy Wall Street protests and the Arab Spring.

The Occupy Wall Street protests were largely triggered by the collapse of the US economy which led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, homes and livelihoods. In an effort to get their point across peaceful protests were started to gain the attention of those who control the economy.

The Arab Spring on the other hand was sparked by the self-immolation of a young man in Egypt whose hawking cart was taken away by authorities. The chaos soon spread among the Egyptian people and rapidly on to other Arab nations. The chaos is thought to have been brought about by suppressed anger over decades of dictatorship rule which oppressed its people.


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