Snowpiercer – a future classic

For reasons that escape me, it seems that Snowpiercer never made it to the UK cinema/home release mainstream.

Having heard positive things about the film, I imported it from the Nederlands (of all places) on BluRay and was incredibly happy that I did.

Set about a train, the Snowpiercer of the title, that houses the remnants of humanity, Curtis (Chris Evans) leads a revolt to try to take the front of the train, the source of all authority and an encounter with Wilford.  He must overcome the machinations of Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton, channelling Margaret Thatcher via League of Gentlemen) and bring together his band of fellow rear-train rebels, including Edgar (Jamie Bell) and a silent, slight yet imposing Grey (Lucas Pasqualino), the forthright mother of a missing child, Tanya (Octavia Spencer), all under the guidance of Gilliam (John Hurt).

It’s a story that is incredibly well realised, with touches of Rapture (the world from the Bioshock games), JG Ballard’s High-Rise and Orwell’s 1984.  Swinton’s Mason steals her scenes, as does a scene set in the school carriage.  With Evans playing a rather reserved hero for whom the truth eventually dawns, Bell as his sidekick, there’s a touch of In Bruges to their companionship, and it works.  The world of Snowpiercer is so well crafted, the characters (on both sides) so human, that it’s difficult to let them go, even as the body count rises.

 

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