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The guy who runs Armadyne has a word like "RICH E" or "RICHE" on his face. What exactly is the word, and why is it on his face?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

RICHE appears to be a fictional luxury brand. As you can see from this image from the "Art of the Film" book, the bio-beds evidently had the ability to sculpt customised faces designed by various luxury brand makers like Rolex and Prada.

Note that in the film version, they apparently used a mixture of real and fake brands for cinematic reasons:

Elysium citizen flesh design exploration, we did hundreds of these, here were a few

enter image description here

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I feel like this needs hand-drawn circles to highlight the important bits. – user7812 Jul 19 '15 at 12:45

The word on John Carlyle's face is RICHE, which is French for rich. He also has some sort of "branding" on his forehead, so I believe that these are a form of body modification (the proof of citizenship branded on the characters' arms appear to be of the same type).

Director Blomkamp explains in an interview about product placements, "We did make up our own brands because we couldn’t get enough of them," Blomkamp explains of labels such as "Riche," a moniker that is branded onto the skin of characters who have partaken of a beauty enhancement. "We had a binder with thousands of fake brands and awesome logos. But they don’t mean anything to people, they just look like future brands. It doesn’t have the same resonance."

John Carlyle
Image courtesy of

It is my interpretation that language is used as a device to further separate the two classes; Jessica Delacourt spoke French while at the social gathering. The wealthy citizens of Elysium speak French, while the poor citizens of Earth speak Spanish.

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Indeed, the French seemed like a nice detail distinguishing the upper class from the others, like a reference to the English aristocrats following the Normannic invasion that persisted to speak French at the court during the middle ages. Yet the Spanish on earth was probably more a regional effect of the plot being set in Los Angeles (an L.A. merged even more with Hispannic culture than today's). – Napoleon Wilson Aug 20 '13 at 20:33
Given that Armadyne was one of the few Elysians that actually worked on earth, he had even more reason to distinguish himself from the "scum", therefore this "tattoo". – Napoleon Wilson Aug 20 '13 at 20:38

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