Metropolis

Metropolis
(1927)

Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich

Rating: ******
6/6

Metropolis is one of those films
That you always hear is great.
It’s featured on top 100 lists
Alongside other greats,

Like the Wizard of Oz and Star Wars,
And Bridge on the River Kwai,
But though these movies might be great,
To find them you’ll have to try.

One day I just decided
To finally watch this.
I found the most complete version
Of this movie that exists.

The only other film I’d seen
By the director Fritz Lang
Was a movie simply titled M,
And it’s is one of which I’ve sang.

I was excited going in,
Not sure what to expect.
Was this movie really dated?
I had not found out just yet.

Any doubts I may have had
Disappeared with ease,
As the director lured me in
By the first scene he released.

I saw a lot of people
Finishing their shift.
They shuffled down a hallway.
Their feet did not fully lift.

They moved like programmed robots,
Since they all moved in a group.
Their heads were bowed and their shoulders
Made a tragic stoop.

Approaching them and closing in
Were people who dressed the same,
But these moved with more energy.
They had rested, it was plain.

We saw many, many workers
Walking in the halls,
Getting on elevators,
Crammed against the walls.

We watch the fresh ones get to work,
And begin their dangerous tasks.
These people toiled underground,
Out of sight of the upper class.

The upper class, meanwhile,
Lived up in the sky,
Far above the surface
In buildings built quite high.

These people had no need to work,
And most lived carefree lives.
They’d run around and play like kids,
And watch the butterflies.

One fine day, as they were at play,
A visitor appeared.
Someone had come up from the depths,
Someone who should be feared.

A lower-class woman and a group of kids,
Dirty and ragged and lean,
Exited the elevator
To find a world they had never seen.

The upper class were shocked and mad,
And ordered these ruffians down,
But not before a young man
Glimpsed the woman who had come to their town.

The woman was a beauty,
Curly-haired and pure of heart.
She had a strength of character.
Her face was a work of art.

Thus, this formerly aimless man,
Had a purpose in his life.
He followed the peasant woman down,
In search of her magical light.

This young man was born to power,
For his father ran the city.
He controlled the lives of all beneath
–The workers who powered his city.

The young man was about to learn
What lay beyond his world,
And how his city functions
As he tried to find the girl.

He met a young man in the depths
Who agreed to take his place.
The elite would take his job and clothes,
Whilst the peasant would move to his space.

We don’t see what the poor man did
While living in the clouds,
But we do see our young hero
In a new world shrill and loud.

He works a dangerous, exhausting job,
With no safety nets in place.
Were he to drop, the machines would heat up,
And set fire to the place.

The plot unfolds, an intricate plot,
Filled with malice and intrigue.
We meet a mad scientist and his robot,
Programmed to do misdeeds.

We see a lot of the man in charge,
Whose office overlooks the sky.
We meet his hired assassin,
Who murders the poorer guy.

We see amazing things unfold,
Scenes burned into our brains.
We see dozens of children about to drown
From an outpour from the drains.

We see the robot causing mischief,
And making men do bad.
We later see her melting,
And laughing like she’s going mad.

Among all this, the visuals
Make a strong and formidable presence.
The photography is so well done,
We recall each detail of their essence.

Lastly, we see special effects
That now we’re used to seeing,
But for a movie made 90 years ago,
It’s neat how they’ve come into being.

We see tall, impressive skyscrapers,
And flying vehicles in the air,
A startling metamorphosis,
And all of this done with care.

We see large, magnificent set pieces,
Put together with work and smarts.
Some are powerful and foreboding.
They’re excellent works of art.

We see many, many extras,
Some soft-looking and some hard.
The privileged look beautiful,
And the peasants all look starved.

I see how this movie stood the test of time,
And still thrills to this day.
The amazing presentation
Is still able to amaze.

The topics are still relevant
In our modern time,
And perhaps moreso now than way back then.
The tech has caught up with the times.

I’ll have to give a perfect score.
This film has more than earned it.
If a lesson lies hidden in this film,
Its audience has most certainly learned it.

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