Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Snowpiercer

Director: Bong Joon-ho
With: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Go Ah-sung, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris

Been eyeing on this film ever since I saw the cast way back late 2012. I got intrigued because it's directed by a non-Hollywood director yet the ensemble consists of Hollywood actors and actresses like Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Ed Harris and Chris Evans. A year had passed and it wasn't shown anywhere. Luckily, it was shown early this year in Manila and I made sure too see it as early as possible and I did, and I LOVED it!

I tend to use superlatives when I do writeups like this so I'll just go ahead and say that this is the best dystopian movie I've ever seen (be mindful that I have yet to see Children of Men but it's already in my to-see list). Can't help but compare it to The Hunger Games and I must say that it made The Hunger Games look weak and this is from someone who's also a fan of the latter.

I had no idea about its concept except for its summary description on Wikipedia. Other than that, none. So everything about it felt very original. I just can imagine that it captured the world of Snowpiercer sufficiently. From the inhabitants, to the different rooms that mirror their classes, to the details of the twists, everything was visually cosmic.

It's also fun to see a variety of nationalities in one film or should I say, packed in a dystopian train. Add the fact that Tilda Swinton is one of the cast who was a hoot in all of her scenes. Octavia Spencer also stood out. John Hurt, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, all of them were praiseworthy. Chris Evans was also unexpectedly effective as the lead rebel of this film. They all served their roles adequately.

I'm impressed that an Asian director like Bong Joon-ho has the bravado to adapt a French graphic novel into a film that has the quality of a Hollywood blockbuster. Makes me sort of envious that Filipino filmmakers don't have his audacity. Make no mistake, this film still has issues with its visual effects but it can easily be forgiven by the tenacity of Joon-ho's direction, extravagant costumes and production designs.

Don't fret, I still see the potential in Filipino filmmakers but let's face it, we only excel in films with limited use of visual effects. There's nothing wrong with that but it'd also be great if someday we'll be able to see a visual effect heavy film Pinoy made. Someday we will!

Overall, Snowpiercer is a joy to watch and if you're into dystopian films, you might find yourself hugely enthused by this. It's smart, it's fun, it's everything you look for in an entertaining film.