Snowpiercer

August 10, 2014 at 8:00 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Another night, another New Zealand International Film Festival Film – this time it was Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer.

Warning: plot elements discussed.

Humanity is reduced to the inhabitants of a single train, perpetually traveling around our a world – turned glacial by a too effective solution to global warming. The the passenger carriages are an analogy for the hierarchy in any society: the closer to the engine your carriage the higher up the ‘food chain’ you are.

There is a revolt – the supercargo at the rear of the train who got on without paying want a rearrangement of things and launch a revolt; as it turns out. not the first of its kind. As the revolt fights its way forward, things get bloody, and each carriage differs from the previous one quite starkly. There is a prison car, a protein block factory car, a water purification car, a farm car, a fish farm car, a school car, all sorts of cars, and of course the engine at the front.

It is a little of 1984 meets Mad Max – manipulation of society mixed with a unique take on the post-apocalyptic meme. The landscapes are all snow and ice; one wonders how the track and bridges survive year after year without anyone doing maintenance.

Chris Evans is Curtis – the leader of the revolt. What he finds out about how the train is run – mechanically, operationally, and socially – almost unhinges him.

He is ably supported by a cast that includes: Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Song Kang-ho, and Ko Asung. Tilda Swinton is unrecognisable portraying a train apparatchik.

It is quite violent.

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