4 Things Learned from “Elysium”

If you haven’t watched the movie yet, I suggest you not to read this (in case of spoilers).


Elysium, portrays what our habitat looks like in 2154. The wealthy and privileged lives in Elysium – a place outside of Earth with very advanced technology that can cure any sickness, where people live in peace and harmony. Meanwhile, the poor lives in an overpopulated and infested Earth.

#1 Everyone is naturally selfish

In the movie,  Jodie Foster plays a violent and cold-hearted head security of Elysium who wouldn’t mind using extreme forces to keep her community, in particular her children, in safety. Matt Damon’s character, while being part of the poor, also displayed selfishness. Upon learning that he’ll die in a few days time due to a high radiation exposure, he agreed to do whatever it takes to get to Elysium to be treated, including perpetrating murder.

No matter which income group people come from, we are naturally selfish – until we consciously choose to be otherwise like what Matt Damon had done at the end of the movie.

Also, the next time we think someone’s being selfish, perhaps its worthwhile that we ask ourselves what would we have done if we were in the person’s shoes.

#2 The rich-poor divide is real

In Elysium, the rich is privileged to have repairers that’ll scan away any illnesses while the poor in Earth have to crowd for basic medical help. The sad thing is, the wider the gap, the weaker the poor becomes. In the movie, Matt Damon was ordered to remove a blockage in a hazardous machine room. Although he was hesitant, he had no choice but to do so – just so that he could keep his job.

Such portrayal reminds that reality is not that much better off.

The richest 2% of the world population own more than 51% of the global assets, the richest 10% own 85% of the global assets. In contrast, over 80% of the world population lives on less than 10 USD per day. (source: Wikipedia)

#3 Earth’s resources are not infinite

Why did the rich choose to flee to Elysium – even though they possess such revolutionary technology? Can’t they just help everyone else? Those terminally ill and in urgent need of medical attention especially? Simply because they have given up on Earth’s overpopulation and even if the rich share their resources, it’ll still be insufficient to feed all of Earth’s inhabitants.

Actually, this too isn’t far away from reality. Just take water as an example. As of now, water is already scarce for 1.2 billion people. Two third of the world’s population is expected to face water stress by 2025. If the increase in usage continue to far exceed the growth of the world’s population, the resource may someday deplete. And here, we’re only talking about water.

#4 Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

The movie displays acts of cruelty and discrimination, to a large extent. The bad guys should have known this simple “do unto others…” quote and that what bad acts a person will do with you, he’ll also do to you.

I’m glad this came true at the end. Like any good story, Elysium ended with the protagonists emerging successful while the antagonists were punished. Just a tad bit unfortunate that it was not without sacrifices.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s