Snowpiercer Movie Review

4 / 5 Stars Cast: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt Director: Bong Joon-ho Snowpiercer is a South Korean produced film and is also Bong Joon-ho’s first English language project. It is essentially a science fiction film while also being labelled as arthouse action. It is based on the 1982 French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige” and was written for the screen by Kelly Masterson and Bong. The film is set in the year 2031 and takes place on an extremely long train called Snowpiercer. Several years have passed after a climactic cataclysm, which started a new ice age and killed most of the Earth’s population; the remaining survivors live on this train, continuingly running on a track spanning the entire globe. The train is split into several sections and strongly encourages a class system, with the Tail section being the lowest and social class and as suggested by its name is the end section of the train. The train was created by and is run by the mysterious Wilford. The protagonist of the film is the character of Curtis Everett played by Chris Evans. Curtis has lived in the Tail for seventeen years; fed up with their gloomy lifestyle and inspired by previous albeit unsuccessful rebellions he sparks a revolt and starts a rebellion. The film follows the rebels trying to fight through to the front of the train and reach the Engine room. Curtis is mainly aided by his second-in-command Edgar (Jamie Bell), Gilliam (John Hurt) a spiritual leader and his mentor, an engineer Namgoong (Song Kang-ho) and his daughter Yona (Go Ah-sung). More support is offered by Tanya (Octavia Spencer), a mother searching for her taken son and Andrew (Ewen Bremner) a vengeful father. Tilda Swinton is the main antagonist Mason, the merciless right hand man to Wilford and conductor of the train. The action scenes are well crafted and the special effects compliment the atmosphere and tone set in the film. The frozen wastelands portrayed are breath-taking, both in the sense of awe and numbness. Bong’s directing manages to really bring the surreal environment to life and connect with the audience. Captain America star Evans is very convincing in his role as Curtis. A break from his usual muscle man films, he seems very confident as a more serious actor. His performance makes the character very real and approachable to the audience. From the instant Tilda Swinton’s character is introduced, one becomes affected by her very convincing performance. The major theme throughout the film is a class structure and subsequent class struggle. The people at the Tail are treated like garbage, and randomly taken for whatever reasons by the Front. While Curtis’s group moves more forward in the train one sees in how much excess the Front live and how much the Tail are deprived of. It becomes clear that those taken from the Tail work as manual labour for the Front. This is a struggle still going on in contemporary society and Bong makes it impossible for the audience to not reflect on the matter. IMDb rating: 7.0