I recently watched Snowpiercer a 2013 South Korean Sci/Fi art house film directed by Bong Joon-ho based on the novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film takes place after the apocalyptic freezing of the earth, the only remaining humans on earth are aboard the train “Snowpiercer”, the front of the train is inhabited by the upper class, and as you move towards the rear you move to the lower classes until you reach the rear when the lowest of the low are housed. Rebellion ensues after years of the upper class using and abusing the tail section, fighting their way to the front for their freedom. It’s kind of like Orwell’s 1984 set on a train.
The film really makes you think, you can see civil rights issues, issues with how power corrupts, and the lows humanity will go to in order to survive. What’s really impressive about this film is that it can convey all this without being overly complicated, it’s really not a hard story to follow. If your a student of history you will notice the nazi references to the Gestapo and Hitler Youth in different parts of this film.
Chis Evans plays his part wonderfully, he is strong willed yet gentle, in other words the perfect hero type. Song Kang-ho is subdued yet has so much to add to the film, he points out important plot points yet you have no idea that he’s doing it when your watching. Tilda Swinton plays the self important representative of the upper class to the point where you can really come to hate her yet understand she really thinks she’s right. Wonderful performances all around.
The effects were amazing, you really could see that a lot of time and effort went into every detail of this film. The set was beautiful as well, everything looked like it belonged down to the minor details, this has the feel of a big budget Hollywood film even though it’s an “art house” film. At just over two hours you may think it’s drawn out but trust me when I say the two hours blew by without notice, I was totally drawn into the film and was never finding myself loosing attention.
Definitely take the time to see this film, it’s a masterpiece and you won’t regret having seen it.