It’s 2031 and 17 years ago, the world managed to send itself into a devastating Ice Age by releasing a chemical that was supposed to combat global warming. All life on Earth was rendered extinct, apart from the inhabitants of a train the traverses the planet endlessly. The train, as in life, is divided into classes with each carriage alloted a particular function. The upper and lower class never mix.
At the tail of the train, the lower class are subjected to life of squalor, surviving on a diet of protein bars (the contents of which, when revealed, will make you gag) and enduring punishments that include the freezing of offending body parts (think losing an arm if you steal).
Naturally, those at the rear of the train want nothing more than to rise up against their captors, make their way to the engine and take over.
After careful planning and calculating, a select band of people, headed by Curtis (Chris Evans) fight back and carriage by carriage make their way forward to the engine and the train’s mysterious leader Wilford (Harris). It is, we learn, a fight that is attempted every few years with nobody having ever reached the front of the train alive. Nevertheless, these people having nothing to lose and are determined to surge forward.
As those from the tail make their way forward, we are shown exactly how the train manages to support the survivors. There is a carriage that is an aquarium, a carriage devoted to water production, a classroom for children and even a nightclub.
Snowpiercer is the vision of South Korean director Joon-ho Bong, who was so determined to show the movie he envisioned that he refused to allow it to be edited for the US audience and instead released it online. It’s quite an interesting story but I will allow you to search for it online yourself if you so wish.
It is a bleak and gritty look at a world gone mad and one that, if we are not careful, could actually come to fruition. Perhaps not exactly as envisioned here but definitely something very similar.
Tilda Swinton is amazing as Wilford’s quirky second in charge Mason, who moves through the train dispensing Wilford’s so called wisdom with religious-like reverence.
Evans also turns in an excellent performance as a man within whom the fires of freedom burn brightly. When he is confronted with the truth of the train, it is almost too much to bear but a hero is a hero and he sacrifices what he must. I enjoy watching Evans, most often recognised for his awww shucks persona of Captain America, in these more indie type roles. He continues to make smart choices…… we love this 😉
This movie is a finely layered work that has meanings within meanings. Repeated viewings are a must because the truth is always there, from the very first moments, we just dont see it. I really enjoyed this one and if I gave stars, I would give 4 1/2.
Love Flick xx
Director : Joon-ho Bong
Starring : Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Kang-ho Song, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner, Ah-sung Ko, Alison Pill, Luke Pasqualino
Running Time : 126 minutes
Release Date : In Selected Cinemas