Snowpiercer

Written by Jeremy JPOOL Colwill
Introduction:
From the director who brought you Memories of Murder (2003), The
Host (2006)
and Mother (2009)
comes a film that takes you on the ride of your life.  South Korean director Bong Joon-ho brings us a
film where the world’s living population resides on an ever-moving train.  It’s a dark, twisted and allegorical story
and will leave you breathless in the end.
Summary:
The film Snowpiercer
is about a post-apocalyptic world that was destroyed by a man-made ice age.
  In 2014, an
experiment was conducted to counteract the “global warming” effects on the
Earth.  The experiment failed and as a
result, the Earth froze over and nearly killed all life.  The remaining survivors boarded a train
called the “Snowpiercer” and set off on a globe-spanning track.  The inhabitants were divided into castes and
for those without the financial means, found themselves in the tail-end of the
train.  While the rich lived lavishly in
the front for eighteen years, the poor struggled to survive in the back
.  Many rebellions
were started during these years, but they were quickly squashed by the
guards.  One man named Curtis
Everett (Chris Evans)
plans to start his own revolt and make his way to
the front of the train.  His loyal friend
Edgar
(Jamie Bell)
has been with Curtis through thick-and-thin and is
prepared to do anything to assure this revolt succeeds.
  Along the way, we
meet characters like Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton) whose
sole-purpose is to delegate and discipline those who do not heed the word of
the train’s creator.  We also meet a
prisoner named Namgoong Minsu (Song Kang-ho) and his
daughter Yona (Go Ah-sung)
Namgoong is a specialist who built the locks for each train section and
Curtiss plans to use him to unlock each door. 
Wilford is played by Ed Harris and because of his
so-called crazy ideas, he might have saved the last remnants of the human race
onboard the train.  Each train car holds
its’ own set of colorful characters, challenges and wonders.  
Will Curtis be able to survive the onslaught of guards and
henchman along the way to the front? 
Will the revolt be stopped once again and the lower class population
reduced once more? 
Critique:
Snowpiercer is an incredible and must-see film.  Its art direction and storyline are top-notch
and it’s filled with dark and twisting turns that definitely won’t leave you
out in the cold.  Bong Joon-ho has once
again demonstrated why he’s one of the best South Korean directors out there.  The cinematography by Hong Kyung-Pyo is
breathtaking and it becomes even more visceral with the music by Marco
Beltrami.  The story is an allegorical
statement on caste systems and how much injustice is placed on the lower
castes.  Chris Evans is such an underrated
actor, but he shows his true acting chops in this role.  After seeing Tilda Swinton in “Only Lovers
Left Alive”, we get to see a more torn-down character that you will love to
hate.  Ed Harris’ character Wilfred only
appears in the end, but he truly makes a statement in that short amount of
time.   Octavia Spencer plays a mother who is
desperate to get her son back.  John Hurt
plays a character named Gilliam and he has an interesting story-arc.  The only problem I had with the film was the
125 minute run time, but I can forgive it for its engaging storyline and
action-packed scenes.  I also felt the
school/car scene seemed to drag on longer than it should, but I did enjoy the
pay-off.  The ending is something still
up for debate, but you might have to watch it a couple of times to fully
contemplate the ending’s message.   
Rating:
I’ve given this film high praise and in my eyes, it
definitely deserves it.  With some
incredible action scenes, great dialogue, memorable characters, and a powerful
and engaging story, it has definitely made its way to the top of my favorite
films of this year.
I give this film 5 out of 5 Stars.
Final thoughts:

Even though this film was originally released in 2013,
it has finally made its way over to the States.   I was disappointed to hear that the film was
only receiving a limited release in selected theaters.  This film deserves more fan-faire and I’m
afraid that it will miss the mark when it comes around to award season.   You should definitely check this film out,
if it’s available in your area. 

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