In Metropolis, a truly powerful scene is Freder’s first visit to the underground factory. Searching for Maria, the scene opens to a long shot of Freder gazing at the enormous machines. By using the long shot, Lang conveys a sense that the factory is ultimately an impressive yet intimidating sight through Freder’s reactions. Paying closer attention to the scene, the workers seem to be working in an almost synchronized manner. The audience can interpret this synchronization as depicting the life of a factory worker as a continuous, never ending routine. As the scene progresses, however, it shows an older factory worker struggling to continue his work to the point in which he seems to be collapsing from mere exhaustion. While the worker struggles, the movie cuts to show a meter that continues to rise at a fast pace. As it rises, the worker’s look of fear seems heightened; he knows the dire consequences of the meter if he does not continue his work.
At this point, Lang uses parallel montage by cutting to the synchronized workers and the rising meter. Alongside the dramatic soundtrack, suspense, discomfort and chaos accompany the rise of the meter. The suspense reaches its climax when the meter hits a certain point that causes an explosion throughout the factory. In reaction to the explosion, Freder is thrown back, seeming to have hit his head and begins to hallucinate. Through the use of effects, the factory is suddenly transformed into what seems to be a Mayan temple in the form of a beast. It then seems as if the workers themselves are being sacrificed into the mouth of the temple. This moment serves as a metaphor to the savagery that exists within the factory itself. This is the true message that Lang is trying to convey in this scene.