Soylent Green Movie Review

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There may be some eyebrows raised at the fact I am reviewing such an old movie. Soylent Green first came out in theaters in 1973, yet the message of the film rings true today. Soylent Green features Charlton Heston, a cop who learns the dark truth about what is happening in the world. The message behind the movie is almost too scary to admit or even think about. Even more scary, the movie takes place in the year 2022. 
This review will contain spoilers.


It's the year 2022. The world is overrun by famine, overpopulation, and mass poverty. Nothing works. The Earth is basically in ruins. Food, water, and supplies are scarce, where only the elites can gain access to these products (in many cases from the black market). The poor part of the population can only get a product called "Soylent," which is a meal substitute. You've got Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow, and the latest product, Soylent Green. Unfortunately, these products always run out, which causes mass chaos and riots. Detective Robert Thorn, played by Charlton Heston, investigates the murder of William Simonson, an executive member of Soylent. Soon, Thorn learns that Simonson wasn't killed by accident, as everyone believed. Simonson was assassinated. In learning the truth of why this man was murdered, Thorn and his partner, Roth, learn the truth of the world and of the Soylent enterprise. The most iconic line at the end of the movie was from Heston screaming out to the crowd, "Soylent Green is people!"


While the movie wasn't great in terms of special effects, the plot and message were powerful. I did think the movie could have been better directed, especially towards the end when Thorn discovered the ugly truth of what Soylent Green was made of. Nonetheless, the message also rings true today. 

You may still be questioning how a movie from decades ago could relate to the current moment. Let's see. First off, what stood out to me was seeing different citizens in New York wearing masks to "protect themselves" from the environment's toxicity. In Soylent Green, you see how high homelessness is. People had to sleep on the stairs. Those who were poor couldn't get any food except Soylent, which fed at least half of the population.

The elites, on the other hand, could get anything they wanted. Food, hot water, clean clothes, you name it. During COVID, I think we can all recall a certain Californian Speaker of the House bragging about the "luxurious ice cream" she had access to, while her own citizens were losing their livelihoods and couldn't afford to feed their families.

What about the whole plot of the movie, where you found out Soylent Green was, in fact, made of dead humans (that were euthanized then taken to Soylent in garbage trucks)? Look at what we have created. Processed food, impossible meat, meal substitutes. 

The demand for companies to provide meat substitutes have increased tremendously. You've probably seen these brands at the supermarket: Amy's, Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and numerous others. Do we really know what these substitutes are made of?

We see numerous fast food chains, like McDonalds, state how their burgers aren't 100% beef. How can you have a burger not made of beef? What else are they putting in there? Why aren't people avoiding these companies like the plague? There have been questions about what is in these products, and while I could believe the plot of Soylent Green exists today, there are other products in these "substitutes" that are toxic to our health. 

And let's not forget the messaging these companies push to get us to buy their products. I came across an Instagram post, with KFC sharing a creepy image on their Twitter. While everyone laughed at this "meme," there was a darker truth ignored in the message, which was that the image used was a painting of Saturn (aka Satan) eating one of his children. The post is deeply disturbing for me to look at, but the person who shared this discussed the story of Soylent Green, which led me to buy the movie. Am I glad I did!


Much of the subtle messaging rings true today. Elites get the best of the best, leaving the rest of us to suffer the fates they caused. Politicians have been bought out by major corporations. Poverty and homelessness are rising at fast rates. Food shortages becoming a reality. Gas prices are rising faster than ever. The message in Soylent Green is a warning for us all. What we are being told is "good for us" are lies. This movie, despite its age, warned us of what was yet to come.

I highly recommend watching this movie. It's not just only a movie, it's a warning for things to come. Not to mention it will most likely eventually become banned because it spoke too much truth. The elites will do anything to protect their own. I have to give this movie 4 stars!☆☆☆☆

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