Metropolis is considered to be one of the most successful science-fiction films ever made even though it was filmed back in 1927 in times when computer special effects were not even dreamed about. This is a story about a young and rich man having no troubles in this world who becomes concerned on the reason of the way his father runs the city of Metropolis. The film addresses numerous serious issues including the issue of Religion and Marxism. Generally, addressing this film in terms of the self-aspect along with social comparison aspect, it can be acclaimed as a considerable piece for research in these areas of social psychology.
Metropolis arises numerous important self-related issues including religious ones. One of the central characters in the film is Maria, a person to bring hope and consolation to the oppressed labors. Maria carries out one of the most important roles in the film inspiring Mediator to help the oppressed ones; this is very similar to the biblical account about Maria. Secondly, the next address to this theme is seen in the character of John Frederson, the master of Metropolis. He is depicted as a “god” of the city who gains adoration and worship from its numerous inhabitants. John Frederson is a founder and creator of the city; he also runs it and is called its architect; that reminds about God as the Creator and the Sovereign of the Universe.
Thirdly, religious background is also evident in the concept of Babylon. The Bible tells a story about Babylon as a city of rebels who opposed God. The same thing is shown in the movie, the Babylon tower is depicted as a magnificent symbol of humanity’s technological triumph. Fourthly, the idea of Mediator is also related to the Biblical account. Similar role is given to Freder in the movie. The final scene where Mediator called “heart” becomes a joint element between “head” which represents upper class governors of the city and ”hands” which represent the workers resembles the idea of reconciliation between God and men by means of Jesus Christ ransom (Greydanus par.24). Finally, when “Maria” android is sent to a man’s club to perform erotic dances, she reminds of a Harlot from Babylon the Great from the Bible book of Revelation (VA 2010).
Metropolis addresses social comparison themes in multiple ways. First of all, class conflict which is one of the basic issues addressed in Marxism is vividly shown in Metropolis: the thinkers live at ease on the surface of the earth in dreamlike conditions whereas the underclass labors suffer horrors of living and working underground (Milgram, Bickmann, & Berkowitz 80). Further, the idea of the working class exploitation by the bourgeois society is vividly shown in the movie. Additionally, Marxism is addressed in the very idea of revolution wrought by the enslaved and subjugated workers from the lower class. Metropolis denies the Marxist idea that the world must be transformed through a revolution from low classes (Crano 73, Bray 86).
As a final point, it is evident that Metropolis is the film directed to particular well-educated spectators. It conveys an important thought provoking message for the audience. Addressing the topics of Religion and Marxism through the events of revolutionary actions of the workers from the underground and the actions of Mediator, the film encourages thinking about the importance of controlling masses in order to evade the unwanted consequences.
Bray, Robert, David Johnson, & Jason Chistrom. “Social influence by group members with minority opinions: A comparison of Hollander and Miscovici”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 43 (1982): 78-88. Print.
Crano, William. “Milestones in the psychological analysis of social influence”. GroupDynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 4 (2000): 68-80. Print.
Greydanus, Simon 2010. Metropolis (1927). Web.
Milgram, Samuel, Larry Bickmann, & Lloyd Berkowitz. “Note on the drawing power of crowds of a different size”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 13 (1969): 79-82. Print.
VC. 2010. The Occult Symbolism of Movie “Metropolis” and its Importance in Pop Culture. Web.