New Order is a dystopian story about how unrest caused by protests by the poor can be used to establish a military dictatorship. The film impressed many viewers with its excessive and too realistic cruelty, stereotyped images of the rich, racism, detached, uninvolved form of presentation.
It all starts with a wedding. By that time, riots already reign in the city, it is not at all safe on the streets, because social inequality, brought to the absolute point in the picture, leads to the fact that the poor take to the streets with weapons in their hands and begin to riot. Even the armed forces cannot do anything about it (or rather, according to the author, they are waiting for the right moment to establish a military dictatorship, that very “new order”), so the unrest turns first into robberies, and then into murders.
What is the meaning of the film New Order?
It is surprising how intimate the story (weddings of a wealthy family), which clearly defines the main character – Marianne – seeking to help a former employee of her mother’s company, Rolando, who needs money for an operation. Due to the riots, his wife, who needs urgent hospitalization and heart surgery, was sent home, and he does not have the money to refer her to another hospital. Therefore, he comes to his former boss for help, but she clearly limits the limit of the amount that she can give him, and this is not even half of what he needs. Marianne is so eager to help that she even leaves her own wedding, and this, it must be said, saves her life, since almost immediately after she leaves with one of her employees, Christian, an angry mob of people attacks the house. A flurry of brutal murder scenes ensues, in which the servants accuse the rich of treating them horribly, slowly killing them and stealing from them. Only a few manage to survive.
The film depicts the riots in a chaotic and messy way, full of excessive violence, which causes the scenes to evoke a strong emotional response from empathic viewers. This technique is used precisely in order to involve as much as possible, not only emotionally, but also mentally.
Once safe in Christian’s house, Marianne meets with Roland’s wife, hears about what happened in the house and learns about the number of victims. She is horrified. Marianne tries to get home, but the military takes her away from Christian, and just when she begins to think that she will soon be completely safe at home, it turns out that the military took advantage of the unrest in order to earn money and establish a dictatorship.
Not only the rich, who caused mass protests, suffer from arbitrariness, but also the protesters themselves: the military introduces a strict access control, uses massacres in order to hide the fact of their own guilt in part of the murders that have occurred.
Marianna from the main character turns into a broken hostage of circumstances: the military, having gathered the surviving members of wealthy families along the streets, mock them (mark them with a certain number, beat them, rape them, wash them in the same room, intimidate them, force them to write down an appeal to a relative), trying to break them and receive a ransom for them from their families. Marianne is no exception.
The military uses a tricky move: they make Christian’s family (himself and his mother) messengers, demand through them the transfer of a ransom, and they obey, receive a pass and smuggle in the money of Marianne’s parents.
By the time it seems to the viewer that all this horror will have a happy ending, the scene with the military destroys this illusion: having received a ransom for one of the hostages, they kill him, leaving the money for themselves. And at this moment, each of the remaining understands that there is no way out of this situation. Marianne becomes a weak-willed puppet in the hands of the armed powers that be.
And not only she. Christian’s family, having handed over the first part of the ransom, is ordered to bring the second. And then they too understand what is going on. Marianne will not be returned alive. Marianne’s brother and husband accuse Christian and his mother of being the ones who abducted and are keeping Marianne, and since before that they applied to the authorities in order to find her, the brother reports his guess to the military. And they, as the viewer knows, are not at all defenders of the rights of the population, and it was they who organized these abductions and massacres.
Marianne is brought to Christian’s house and killed, arranging everything as if it was he who had kept her all this time and shot her because he did not receive a ransom. The rest of the hostages are lined up and killed in turn, after which their bodies are burned.
The final scene of the film is the execution of Christian’s mother and several other women. It was organized by a man who runs the military.
It is obvious that the main idea of “New Order” is to show the future that may come due to the growing stratification of society and the aggravation of this conflict, and the inevitability of the formation of a military dictatorship during the transfer of power to the military is also quite a likely and natural outcome. This is shown so realistically that impressionable viewers cannot do without goosebumps and subconscious fear. The film raises really acute issues, which is why it is so provocative.