Monday, August 17, 2009

District 9 (review)

I was really excited to go see District 9 Saturday. The movie had a lot of hype, with the viral advertising and crazy-awesome website. The producer is also Peter Jackson, the genius behind the Lord of the Rings films. Plus, the story is about aliens and humans, and their interaction, which I thought sounded interesting.

Basically, twenty years ago the alien ship came to rest directly over the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. After some time, the human race decided to enter the vessel, thereupon discovering the malnourished alien specie. Thus, District 9 was established in the country, serving as a refugee camp for the stranded aliens.

As you can imagine, living conditions grew tense between the humans and the non-humans. The derogatory term "prawn" was given to the aliens, as they resembled the bottom-feeders of the fish aquarium in appearance and mannerisms. Often violence would erupt between humans and the prawns.

District 9 was a tremendous movie, and it is very easy to see the true theme of the film. It explores the issue of racism in an extreme, but still relevant, way. The unspoken question is should non-humans be treated the same as humans?

Naturally, I cannot answer this question for you. However, after watching the movie, I feel that anyone with a heart would answer the question with a vehement "YES". While on the surface this seems slightly silly, at a deeper level it mirrors apartheid racial struggle of South Africa, and more generally the racial issues of the world.

The special affects in the movie are beautiful, and I really could not get enough of the human body exploding into tiny bits and pieces. The aliens are remarkable, and their emotions are clearly portrayed on their face. The backdrop setting of Johannesburg and the refugee camp are completely believable.

Also, the filming style of this movie really pulls the audience in. It is shot like a documentary at times, and at other points like a traditional film. The documentary scenes look rather real, more so than Blair Witch or Cloverfield. The traditional filming style is also well shot.

The best thing about this movie is the plot. I barely scratched the surface of what's going on. On one of the trailers for the movie you can hear someone saying "There's a lot of secrets in District 9." Suffice it to say that this is true, and these secrets propel the movie at a fast and ruthless pace, toying with the audiences emotions. At times I felt disgusted, other times repulsed, and many times saddened.

I like a good movie that knows how to play with my emotions, making me uncertain what to believe and where things are going. I did not know what to expect for the conclusion of District 9, but I was thoroughly satisfied when the film went off. I can easily recommend this to anyone who wants to watch a different kind of movie and be taken along for a wild and crazy ride. This movie works on multiple levels, and I really enjoyed it quite a bit.

Note: If you are easily grossed out and the site of blood, vomit, torture, etc. makes you squirm, you may find it difficult to watch this film at some parts. But if you can get through it, you shouldn't be disappointed.

5 comments:

Krista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krista said...

I've heard so many great things about this one. Thanks for the review, I'll have to watch it.

Shellie said...

I can't wait to see this - great review!

Sean Weatherby said...

D-9 definitely has a lot going for it -- character development, great acting a at least a few people, awesome alien weapons; it felt a bit preachy at times at different times though

logankstewart said...

Hi Sean, thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you come back again and see what all I have to offer.

D-9 was pretty cool, and it did have a lot going for it. Overall, I was pretty impressed.