This is a second opinion on Rik’s review of Soylent Green, make sure to read said review below.

         I went into this movie under undesirable conditions, years ago I had the ending of the movie spoiled to me… and understandably so, the final lines are ever so quotable. However, I was still satisfied and surprised by the plot’s outcome due to how well the story worked. This movie, with some imagination, is quite relevant to our current “Green Revolution”. The writer Harry Harrison has a creative take on what will happen to this rock we live on if we continue to consume, and consume without replenishing what we are destroying.         

         That being said, please do not let what I have said market this as a great film. I felt, even for as short as this movie was, it moved far too slowly, lost focus, and relied far too heavily on gimmicks.

         Half the movie is spent with Thorn telling us what their world doesn’t have… “Ah soap, I’ve never had soap… Ah, whiskey, I’ve never had whiskey… Ah, strawberries, I’ve never had strawberries…” and so on, and so on. Yes, I understand you have few amenities, I caught on to that concept rather quickly. Yet, Thorn feels it necessary to tell us what we no longer have in the year 2022. I liked the idea of a culture desiring and dreaming over all we take for granted, but the movie used it as a crutch. Whenever the story was losing momentum, it threw in yet another attempt to shock us with how little these people have.

         This movie also fell into the 70’s-era trap of adding a token love interest in an attempt to add feeling and emotion to a character… ATTENTION, not every film needs a bedmate to drive the story further. And I, much like Rik, found myself laughing at Thorn’s empty romance. Heston’s character, perhaps to a fault, is a cold unfeeling character with little stake in his world.  Simply adding a pair of hips and lips does not make him a complete compassionate character. I didn’t need the feigned love interest to make me care for this character or provide him with relatable emotions.

         One thing I did like about this film was sweet, sweet Sol. Sol, the film’s oldest character but perhaps its most relatable. A man who treasures the finer things in life, who cares about books, history, and love… this character (Edward G. Robinson’s final performance) adds heart and soul to this movie.  He seems to be one of Earth’s last romantics… and man who wants to see the world made well again, but who will likely just die with it.         

         This film ultimately fell short but did hold some saving graces… The character of Sol and the film’s relevant and imaginative story line are the two things that save this movie from a dark and bleak history. I found myself entertained but wanting…a little more green.

 

-Evan

 


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