Friday, January 24, 2014

Elysium - A Reality Shrouded in Ignorance

Assalamualaikum and greetings dear readers,

Walking through the Masjid Jamek subway to hop on to another train, I caught sight of a movie poster. That movie was Elysium. Matt Damon was featured in the poster, obviously the main character looking like Robocop.

Putting Star Wars and Star Trek aside, I'm not a fan of sci fi movies. I like Star Wars because I grew up watching it and I like the movie Star Trek because Benedict Cumberbatch was in it. The Star Trek series on the other hand, is not my type of series at all.

So I don't know why I IMDB-ed Elysium. I then read the synopsis and I said to myself that I must watch this. And today finally, I got a chance to do so.

To me, Elysium is an almost perfect depiction of the kind of economy that we live in. In the movie Elysium, the Earth is overpopulated and diseases are rife. Those who are wealthy moved out to Elysium, a man made planet which is clean, hygienic, beautiful, peaceful and in order. The poor on the other hand, is stuck leaving on ruined Earth where medical attention is lacking and Los Angeles is basically a slum. Working conditions are terrible and  the lives of people there meaningless.

Meanwhile up in Elysium, dirty politics are taking place. It's typical how greed for power can easily be assumed as good intention. And it's puzzling how politicians can assume themselves as the upholder of justice when what they do is only speak pretty words and campaigning without dirtying their hands. I assumed this is what Neill Blomkamp, the writer and director of Elysium had characterized in Delacourt and President Patel. And I think this is what Neill sees in many real life politicians and leaders nowadays.

But what I'm really interested in is, being a student of Finance and having a modest knowledge in economy, is the fact that in year 2154, which is the year this movie takes place, the gap in inequality is very wide. If you have been reading or paying some attention to the news, this is actually happening in reality. Look at the figures of homeless people in the United States (US), the rural poverty of US's rival in economy - China and the world's environment index.

All of these clearly shows that the present economy and financial system are flawed. In Elysium, Max whom had acquired the code of Elysium's system, had managed to rewrite it with the help of Spider. Spider had ensured that in the current system, all the poor citizens on Earth will be given the citizenship of Elysium thus closing the gap in inequality.

Before I end this post, I would like to bring your attention to Max. Max was involved in grand theft auto and went to prison before working at a factory where he was exposed to extreme radiation. When I watched him, I see that he's just a low life criminal but this low life criminal was the one who made equality possible and gave new lives to the poor people on Earth. Thus, I'm pretty sure that we, mere normal human beings, can bring about change too; no matter how small it is.