Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brief Thoughts- SNOWPIERCER (2013)

I find myself in the odd place of naysayer about a much lauded science fiction film. By way of NetFlix I finally caught SNOWPIERCER (2013) and after all the hubbub over the past year I was excited to experience its dystopian vision. For the first hour or so I watched and got a few thrills out of the set up and the excellent cast as they laid out the scenario and introduced the plot but I felt oddly unaffected. I thought it might be a case in which the second half would cement things and bring everything into focus so I was patient. After all- the movie looked great and was being rendered beautifully onscreen so surely the story would catch fire eventually.

Instead I found that as the film progresses I was less involved in the story and was simply hanging on to see what the final act would do to end things. The further forward in the titular train the vengeful rebels traveled the less believable the entire tale seemed until I lost all ability to care and my suspension of disbelief evaporated. The space necessary to make this perpetual motion machine seem real was just not portrayed successfully enough for me and all I kept thinking was 'Do you have to pass through all of these train cars to eat sushi?'

Don't get me wrong- I know the whole tale is a metaphor for society and the necessity for the exploited under classes to fight for the rights that the wealthy claim and hold by force. But once the fictional structure becomes silly and implausible it begins to feel like a very pretty economics lecture punctuated by a few well played scenes of violence. Hell! I agree with the class war sentiments of the story but by the end I just didn't care very much about the characters or their efforts because their plight was so artificial and improbable.

It's a shame - there is a lot to be impressed by in the film but overall its only worth a single watch as food for discussion.

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