Soylent Green

Soylent Green (Richard Fleischer, 1973)
Thorn (Charlton Heston) lives with Sol (Edward G. Robinson) in 2022 and they form a team of detective and researcher respectively. Sol being older has regrets of the evolution of the world and how just food isn’t the same anymore. Instead of eating crackers of Soylent Green they were eating real food. The detective story is about the assassination of a rich man called Williamson (Joseph Cotten). Thorn’s supervisor asked him to close the investigation but being stubborn leads Thorn to disover the truth about the society and the explanation of the murder.
Soylent Green is a classic of 1970’s Sci-Fi, it involves a dystopian world where every resource is counted, the gap between rich and poor is larger than ever, the cities are over packed, the environment is destroyed by humans, the weather is always hot and humid because of the greenhouse effect, and many people are considered objects like women who are called furniture in apartments. This is a sad projection of a future that more or less sticks to the time we currently live in. In a movie review, I hate to read and even more to write myself that it did not aged well but this is the case with Soylent Green. The future depicted is not really believable and not much of the vision of the future has been changed from the 1950’s Sci-Fi films. It is hard to not laugh at the naive visions of the future that are depicted. It looks like if they set the story a couple of years ahead of the time it was made.
One of the best moments of Soylent Green is the ouverture with the images of the evolution of the 20th Century and how it got crazier with the industrialization, the urban explosion, and the traffic. Another fine moment is the final scene of Edward G. Robinson who managed to get Heston to elevate is act and get out of his stoic impersonations. If there’s only one scene to save from this film it could be this one or it could be the final moment of Heston on the screen. But in between it is not the solid film I was expecting. On icheckmovies I read that someone compared Soylent Green with Blade Runner. There’s not much similarities between both films except that the sets and the dystopian future can be recalled in Blade Runner.
Knowing the twist of a film is always a spoiler and I won’t be giving it here, for those who are still not in the know. But I must say that it spoiled my viewing and I thought that there was something more that what the movie is known for. Well, it is not the case and I kind of felt empty after finishing it. There were some qualities to the whole thing. However, they were not enough for me to actually fell in love with it. In the meantime, it is a classic of the genre and I suggest that a viewing is recommended just to know what the fuss it is all about.

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