My whole life is a lie. And there, I thought that Star Wars: Episode VI was the greatest Sci-Fi movie ever made, how stupid was I? I’m not saying that Episode VI (or the whole original trilogy) was bad, noooooo, saying that would get me killed. All I’m saying is that I was so blinded by my love for Star Wars that I actually become really hard headed when it came to watching new Sci-Fi movies. But all that changed in 80 minutes (yep, I have the Moroder version). Metropolis is a great movie, I haven’t met anyone who said any negative thing about the movie, trust me, I tried and tried but I couldn’t find any flaw; it’s just so PERFECT.
The story revolves around a the futuristic city of Metropolis where the rich live above and the workers live below. The workers are running the machines that keep the whole city running, they are overworked and really oppressed. One day, Maria (Brigitte Helm) , a woman from below who takes a group of children to see the life above, is spotted by Freder Fredersen (Gustav Frohlich) who falls in love with her and chases her to the depths. What he finds there made him realize the horror that his father, Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel), the mastermind behind Metropolis, has created in the world below.
Metropolis is a work of art, and I don’t think that anyone can argue with that. A visual masterpiece that incorporates all the key elements of sci-fi, coupled with amazing acting and awesome effects makes Metropolis the holy grail to sci-fi enthusiasts and movie lovers. The story of the movie is pretty basic in my opinion; however, the way that Fritz Lang conveys the story to the audience just impressed the hell out of me.
The robot (also played by Brigitte Helm), called the Maschinenmensch (let’s just stick to robot shall we), is extremely innovative for its time; I think it was the first robot ever to be seen in a motion picture. It’s expressionless face and exotic beauty has only dazzled me to this day. The purpose of the robot was to resurrect Joh’s wife, Hel, because his accomplice Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) was in love with her. But instead it was used to create an evil body double of Maria that would cause chaos in the streets and encourage the workers below to start a violent revolution within the city of Metropolis, as opposed to the real Maria who would never do such a thing. Although the robot has a very convincing metallic look, it’s actually made of plastic wood that Brigitte Helm had to wear, which caused her to be extremely uncomfortable and resulted in her sustaining cuts and bruises.
The city of Metropolis is spectacular; for 1927, it looked like something that was out of this world, and the same can be said for today. I’ll bet that people who attended the premiere of Metropolis all had their eyes wide open when they saw the city. It is a beautiful sight to behold. Notice that the story is set in 2026, so who knows how cities will look like in 13 years, they might just end up looking like Metropolis!
About the soundtrack: I did say earlier that I have the Moroder version that incorporates a pop soundtrack which includes famous names like Freddy Mercury and it also adds some color to the movie. I mean the soundtrack isn’t bad, in matter of fact, I liked it because it adds a modern twist to the movie and it seemed like it wasn’t really out of place, so it didn’t really bother me a lot. I have heard segments of the original soundtrack, and I must say that it’s pretty damn good as well.
Metropolis is pure genius, it is one of the greatest movies ever made, it has definitely surpassed my expectations and it blew me away. Roger Ebert (RIP) put it in his list of “Great Movies’, your argument is invalid!
Take a Drink: whenever you see the Maschinenmensch
Take a Drink: for the wonderful city of Metropolis
Do a Shot: for every Biblical reference