Based on a graphic novel called Le Transperceneige, Snowpiercer (2013) is set in a strange future where the world has experienced global cooling on a massive scale, to the extent that there are few people left alive on earth. The people that are left live within a train that constantly travels around the globe. We meet a number of people who live within the train, in squalor and in conditions strictly controlled by a military force. What is their purpose on the train? Are they the only people living on the train? These questions and more are posed, and potentially answered, in one of the most compelling films I’ve seen recently.
I just watched this film and my mind has been sufficiently blown. What a film. With that being said, here is a collection of some of my thoughts on Snowpiercer. Potential spoilers below.
- I should start by saying that I really enjoyed this film. It has a really strange plot, with a backstory that was so intriguing. I wanted to know so much more about it.
- Along with the strange plot, there were occasional moments of sheer horror and grotesqueness that ensured the stakes were high for the characters the entire time. There was an excellent amount of suspense and tension throughout.
- I think this might have been the first film that I’ve actually felt nervous in watching, for a really long time.
- I should pay more attention to Chris Evans beyond Not Another Teen Movie (2001).
- Tilda Swinton. Perfection. She has to be an actual shape-shifting alien rather than a real human being because her performance in this was top notch, and a complete departure from other roles I’ve seen her play.
- The music was amazing.
- Really great direction and cinematography throughout, despite the whole thing being set on a train. You’d think it would eventually become quite claustrophobic, but the direction made great use of the available space. The fight scenes stood out as particularly memorable, especially the one set in the dark.
- The reveal for each section of the train was also pretty awesome. This film kept me on my toes the entire time because each new environment had new conditions and obstacles for the characters.
- I just can’t stop thinking about the story though. I have so many questions.
- For example, where do all the ravers on the train live? Do they just have a dance party all day every day?
- Why don’t people in suspenseful movies make sure that threatening people are actually dead before running off? I know this prevents further story development later on, but whenever a main character doesn’t do a proper killshot before leaving a body behind, I can immediately tell that they’ll come back to life. And that wrecks my enjoyment of the film later on. I suppose it’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.
- I want to know more about the early days of the train and how people started living in it, whether there was any choosing process, or whether people had to just scramble on as a result of the conditions they were living in getting worse.
- I’m also really interested in the slight changes in language in the future. It was funny to hear of objects like guns or cigarettes becoming “extinct”. It’s definitely not a word you would usually hear in reference to objects, so it was a nice touch in terms of constructing a genuine dystopian future with the language changes that reflect the societal and cultural changes surrounding it. Lots of great world-building in this film.
- After reading around about Snowpiercer, it sounds like lots of people were disappointed with the ending. I didn’t hate it, although it did seem like a fairly standard ending for a film like this. I didn’t predict it, though.
- Watch this film! Bong Joon-Ho is a pretty great director overall.
- Just look at Tilda Swinton’s crazy eyes! If you stare into them long enough, you’ll actually be convinced to buy this film on DVD and/or Blu-Ray.
Watch this film on Amazon!