In Praise of “Elysium” (SPOILERS)

In praise of Elysium (2013).

Is the swearing in Elysium (2013) gratuitous? Sometimes, yes. But the director and writer, Neill Blomkamp, was raised in South Africa during Apartheid, and Los Angeles in Elysium is influenced by that. So for all I know the rough-and-tumble life depicted in Elysium could be accurate.

Is the violence in Elysium gratuitous? No. There is a method to the madness. Here’s what I mean: The antagonist’s method of killing is to blow people to pieces. In the end, the antagonist gets blown up by a grenade that he himself pulled the firing pin on. The antagonist’s acts of violence are meant to provoke horror: He cheers at the acts he is committing.

Elysium is a positive portrayal of Catholicism. It is Catholic nuns who raised the protagonist, Max. And Frey, Max’s friend, has art of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary in her house.

The love story in Elysium is platonic.

There is a lot of attention to detail in Elysium. This makes the world depicted in the movie seem real.

Is Elysium “liberal propaganda”? No. Yes, in Elysium the Earth is overpopulated. But, Elysium‘s solution is not to sterilize, abort, or euthanize. Elysium‘s solution is to give the people of Earth the medical care they need in order to survive. “Care for your fellow man”, not “Stop the virus that is humanity”, is what I see as the film’s coda.


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