Utopia or Dystopia? Explore the Stunning World of ‘Megalopolis’!

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Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis”

Francis Ford Coppola, a titan of American cinema, has returned after a thirteen-year absence with a film as audacious as its title: “Megalopolis.” This epic sci-fi drama isn’t just a movie; it’s a sprawling tapestry woven from ambition, loss, and a fervent belief in the power of dreams.

The film centers on New Rome, a visually stunning metropolis that’s equal parts New York City and ancient Rome. Here, time itself seems to be crumbling, echoing the decay of the once-great Roman Empire. Yet, amidst this decay rises Cesar Catilina (Adam Driver), a visionary architect with a controversial plan. He dreams of Megalopolis, a utopian city built from a revolutionary material called Megalon.

Aubrey Plaza, Francis Ford Coppola and Romy Croquet at the ‘Megalopolis’ world premiere. DOMINIQUE CHARRIAU/WIREIMAGE

Coppola isn’t shy about wearing his influences on his sleeve. References to Shakespeare and classical mythology abound, creating a sense of grandeur that clashes beautifully with the film’s futuristic elements. Think “Frank Gehry meets Alice in Wonderland” for a glimpse into the fantastical structures that make up Megalon.

But “Megalopolis” isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s a battle between idealism and pragmatism. Cesar, fueled by grief over his lost wife Sunny Hope (a name both touching and slightly groan-worthy), represents the unwavering pursuit of beauty and innovation. Opposing him is Mayor Franklyn Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito), the embodiment of practicality who prioritizes basic needs over Cesar’s extravagant dreams.

Coppola Reunites with Legends and Finds New Allure

The supporting cast is a vibrant mix of Coppola veterans and rising stars. Laurence Fishburne and Talia Shire lend their gravitas to smaller roles, while Nathalie Emmanuel shines as Julia Cicero, the Mayor’s daughter who finds herself drawn to Cesar’s vision. There’s also the delightfully acerbic Aubrey Plaza as Wow Platinum, a financial reporter whose name alone hints at the film’s satirical edge.


“Megalopolis” is a flawed masterpiece. The plot, at times, can be as labyrinthine as the city itself. The special effects occasionally veer into “charmingly dated” territory. Yet, these imperfections are overshadowed by the film’s sheer audacity and Coppola’s unwavering commitment to his vision.

The film’s troubled past adds another layer of intrigue. Originally conceived in the 1980s, “Megalopolis” has been plagued by delays and financial woes. Coppola himself poured a significant amount of his own money into the project, a testament to his unwavering belief in its importance.

This personal investment is evident in every frame. “Megalopolis” is a deeply personal film, an elegy to Coppola’s late wife and a defiant act of creation in the face of time’s relentless march. It’s a film that will likely spark passionate debate, but one thing is undeniable: “Megalopolis” is a singular cinematic experience, a sprawling urban dreamscape built on the foundation of one man’s boundless imagination.

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