By Jon Rutledge
Snowpiercer is a great dystopian future film and, while watching it, I quickly came to realise that humanity is the reason we can’t have nice things.
After all attempts at stopping global warming have failed, humanities last chance to be saved via a train that runs endlessly on a track that goes around the world. It is winter forever and the super train provides everything that humans need to survive.
Society is broken down into two groups: The front part of the train has the well-off passengers (the upper crust of society), the passengers in the tail end of the train suffer in poverty and are subject to absolute control from those in the front section.
Snowpiercer is a treat for anyone who enjoys post apocalyptical settings with their movie watching. The Director, Joon-ho Bong, does an excellent job of giving us an insight into a complete self-contained social ecosystem. He paints a brutal picture of the harsh reality of how ugly things could get in the name of preserving humanity.
The story revolves around an uprising. The people from the tail section standing up to the oppression of the train's creator, Mr. Wilford (Ed Harris) who leads the train from the engine. His counterpart in the tail section is Gilliam (John Hurt), a revered spiritual leader of sorts who leads the end occupants. The rebellion is led by Curtis (Chris Evans) and with the help of Fuyu (Steve Park) who helped build the train's security systems, they fight their way to the engine.
This is an adventure that keeps you engaged from the opening scenes. It’s interesting to see how the train changes as they get closer and closer to the front. They show the internal ecosystem and how fragile the balance is needed to be kept to maintain the never-ending journey of the train.
The cast is outstanding. Some of the more notable performances come from Tilda Swinton who plays Mason, the liaison between the front and rear of the train. She transformers herself and is almost unrecognisable in her role. She embodies the soulless bureaucrat and authoritarian on behalf of Mr. Willard. She is the definition of the word Wormy.
Octavia Spencer plays Tanya, a mother looking for her son who was taken by the front section. Her strength and determination is such a presence in the film. It’s wonderful to watch her help support Curtis and help drive him forward.
The best parts of the story are how well thought-out the train's ecosystem is. The design for water collection to arboretums to fish hatcheries is ingenious. This was based on a French Graphic Novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob.
The story is thought provoking and great for reflecting on the brutality of survival. If you are looking for a really great film that will give you an adventure on a number of levels of the human condition (its best and its worst), give this a look while it’s on Netflix.
You won’t be disappointed.
Conclusion: Movie: 75%