Sunday, July 13, 2014

Snowpiercer

Movie Name: Snowpiercer
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremmer, Alison Pill, Kang-ho Song, Ah-sung Ko, Vlad Ivanov, Luke Pasqualino, Adnan Haskovic, Emma Levie, Steve Park
Genre: Action, Thriller, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Synopsis:
Joon-ho Bong has carved himself a name as a director with the success of his features "The Host" and "Mother". "Snowpiercer" is his latest feature, and it's an adaptation of a french graphic novel originally published in 1982. The film takes place in a not so distant future, where Earth has frozen and the few remaining survivors are located in a train that perpetually circles around the planet. The train is organized in different carts, and there's a caste structure in place, where the rich and wealthy sit in the front, and the poorer and destitute are located at the end of the train. The population is controlled strictly and mobility is non-existent. The people located at the bottom of the train, start a revolution, aiming to take charge of the train, and abandon the torture and low conditions in which they live. In order to do so, they have to go all the way to the front of the train, and that's where all the obstacles lie.
"Snowpiercer" is an interesting metaphor for the state of our society, and how decisions that are made for the greater good, usually imply the destruction of the concept of humanity. The futuristic setting and the constraint of the train, allow for the film to have a feeling of claustrophobia and eminent threat, since there is no place to hide or to go beyond those carts. The screenplay falters in some aspects, since the usual clich├ęs are there - the anti-hero with a past that haunts him, the father figure that makes the sacrifice for the greater good, the unstoppable villain and so forth, but the overall look and feel of the film, still feels fresh and original. The feature is also beautifully designed and rendered, and benefits from a terrific sprawling cast, where the highlights are the usually fantastic Tilda Swinton (almost unrecognizable) and John Hurt. The cinematography from Kyung-pyo Hong, is stunning, as is the art direction, which creates a unique universe in that train. A very interesting film worth watching.

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