Tuesday, August 18, 2009

District 9 ...

Its been a while since a movie has left me reeling abit, and im happy to say, District 9 succeeded. Working on many levels, it just left me kinda spinning at the end. sure its by no means perfect, its not a hollywood machine churned out to be the next Transformers, but what it does, it does well, and for once, we see an "alien" saga, turned on its head, where we are the ones to be feared.

If you've been living under a rock lately, or rural Victoria for that matter :) go and check the trailer for District 9 and do a little backstory prior to seeing the film, which i highly recommend you do. Set in modern day Johannesburg (one of the most unlikely settings in the movie world) the story is based around an alien civilization that has arrived to earth as refugees, in one single gigantic spacecraft. however we soon find the beings inside are not god like entities, or crazy killing machines like the xenomorphes, instead they are bipedal creatures with the same humanistic qualities as present day man. essentially, the ship contains average intelligent alien creatures, fleeing home, and arriving to be quarantined and persecuted by a fearful and racist human race, eager to steal weaponry and technology, at the expense of life itself.

Shot in a "realistic motion camera / documentary style" (help me out here Trev), it immediately feels real. its not glossy or clean. theres no typical hollywood flare. instead, you have this immense feeling that this is actually occurring in present day, and its believable. making this world even more credible is the CGI animated aliens and their interactions with the real world on screen. WETA (a New Zealand film and animation studio) has done an amazing job again.

Without giving too much away, the movie revolves around the struggle of these refugee aliens, interacting with a human populace, and the conflicts that ensue. its by no means perfect, and i think a let down is the characterizations of the white Afrikaners running the MNU (fictional UN equivalent). i couldnt help but laugh for most of the first 15mins, as the stereotypical South African was wheeled out play the jester. it kinda deflates the seriousness of the movies introduction. never the less huge applause goes to Peter Jackson (producer and presenter) and Director Neill Blomkamp on setting this movie in a believable surrounding, and not being forced to move to a huge spacecraft over a US city to draw ticketsales.

The backbone of the story is a commentary on human nature at best, the human condition at its most primal. the fear of anything different from ourselves needs to be controlled, enslaved or marginalized, the lust and greed for power and technology to further war, and the primal nature to destroy anything that gets in our way, a basic bloodlust to kill.

So instead of persecuting our own individual races, we've now switched to the alien "Prawns". like i said, its a movie with many levels, leaving you with the sense that at our human core, we are all screwed. we are so primal in our efforts to destroy, do we really have a chance at long lasting survival? you kinda get the picture, if a more advanced civilization is actually buzzing its UFO's in and out of earths atmosphere, why in hell would they want to shake our hands and welcome us to the universe ?

INTERVIEW: 'District 9' Director Neill Blomkamp