Movie Moles: Snowpiercer

program date: 
Mon, 08/04/2014
Frann Michel and Iven Hale review the film, Snowpiercer, currently playing in Portland at the not-for profit Hollywood theater, and available as video-on-demand for home viewing.

Loosely based on a French graphic novel of the same title, and co-written by Kelly Masterson and director Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer is the first (mostly) English-language film directed by South Korean Bong, whose earlier films include the 2006 monster movie The Host.

The premise of Snowpiercer is that an attempted technological fix for global warming has led to a massive ice age, and the only survivors are those on a perpetually moving train that circumnavigates the globe. The first-class passengers are in the front cars, while the tail section is filled with the poor who jumped on without tickets. Guards arrive at intervals to provide protein blocks for subsistence and sometimes take away children, or adults with useful skills.

The latest in a series of rebellions is led by Curtis, played by Chris Evans, and the rebels move forward several cars to the prison section where they free Namgoong Minsu, the man who built the doors dividing each car, and Namgoong frees his daughter Yona. (They are played by Song Kang-ho and Go Ah-sung, respectively, who also played father and daughter in he Host). By bribing Nam with the drug Kronol, and by fighting their way through variously defended and variously decorated sections of the train, the rebels manage to approach the engine. . . .

They discuss the film as an allegory of capitalism, and as addressing inequality more obviously than exploitation, how the film portrays the crisis inherent to capitalism, whether there is an alternative, and the figurative way the film's ending offers

They note it has a great cast but is another instance of characters of color relegated to secondary roles, and it
barely passes the Bechdel test.

It seems more optimistic with a figurative reading, or if you fancy the end of humanity.

But it's great visually, and worth  seeing.


 

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