Most of the films I review at Edinburgh International Film Festival tend to be art-house films, documentaries and experimental films. Once in a while though a mainstream film on an environmental topic turns up at the festival and I feel the need to review it. Snowpiercer, a tense, violent and sometimes very funny dystopic eco-drama.has more famous faces and far more violence in it than my average festival film!
In the not too distant future, the world has been catapulted into permanent winter after an attempt to combat global warming is too successful. The earth has become uninhabitable to most life and the only humans left are those that exist in a long, climate controlled train that is circling the earth, passing through beautifully imagined icy moutain landscapes and abandoned cities.
The long train is segregated, with the poor people living in cramped conditions at the tail of the train, existing on a diet of disgusting looking protein bars. None of them look as though they know what a bath is and many of them have missing limbs.
Rebellion is brewing in the tail of the train and erupts into mayhem that sees several of the tail inhabitants (lead by Curtis) breaking through into forward compartments with the aim of reaching the engine at the front and taking control. Along the way they take on Namgoong Minsu, a criminal with skills in picking locks and opening gates, who can help them achieve their goal. But will the rebels reach the front of the train, what will they find when they get there and will they really be able to take control?
The film convincingly creates a believable world, the details of which are revealed bit by bit, as the tail inhabitants work their way forward into the elite compartments, the train structure very effectively mirroring the class structure found in most parts of the world. Add in several plot twists and this is a very gripping and entertaining film.
Snowpiercer is showing as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival:
2020, 22 June and 2015, 28 June both at Cineworld.
Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
You can read my other reviews from the Edinburgh International Film festival so far by following the links below:
Legacy, Mistory and Language - a review of N: The Madness of Reason; A House in Berlin and Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?
Ancient Temples, Vertigo and Film-making - a review of Manakamana and La ultima pelicula.
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