Friday, August 21, 2009

District 9 equals total awesomeness

Very minor content and non-plot based spoiler alerts for those who have not seen District 9.

Not a spoiler alert: I am a geek. I love Sci-Fi.

I love this fucking movie.

District 9 elicited several emotions out of the person sitting next to me and myself. Laughter. Cheers. Anger. Crying. Really really crying. Fear. Disgust. Lots more cheers.

The basic plot is about aliens coming to earth, not really having any wherewithal to take care of themselves or find a way home, and the humans abusing them, segregating them, and trying to steal their technology.

What develops is a story about one man who is a self absorbed idiot, who somehow got the hot wife and thus a cushy job from her dad. Our “hero” never inspired much sympathy from me because his heroic acts are all self-involved, and hes a doofus.

Who I did/do cheer for are the “Prawn” or aliens. I found a very high level of emotion levied in them, and found myself drawn to their plight and personal desires. I caught myself wanting so badly for the humans to be slaughtered and the Prawn to escape back to their home world. The emotional journey you are taken on, from curiosity about the creatures, to disgust for human nature, to anger over torture, to joy when at least some aliens improve their lives, is a long trip.

I found myself the day after during a long drive, daydreaming about the alien characters I had just met, their incredible technology, guns, robots and the battles that ensued. I wanted to hear the child alien’s words again, and I wanted to watch 100 more human bodies explode upon use of the alien lightning gun. In other words, this is a DVD purchase.

Director Neil Blomkamp would have killed it if he got to make his Halo movie, instead he created this masterpiece. I feel this is a story that makes comments on bigotry, racism, class struggles, weapons industries, and the general disgusting feeling you get when you look at what really drives the human condition. Probably the most memorable line for me of the whole movie happens right away. “Not everyone was shocked when the alien ship did not come to rest over New York, Los Angeles or Chicago; but in Johannesburg.”

Simple messages, simple pleasures. Go see this and enjoy the CGI, enjoy the weapons, enjoy the action and the emotions. Stop for a second and think about the comments the movie makes, and then see the damn thing again cause it is so fun.

Hopefully you walk away feeling the same way I did; wanting the aliens to declare war on Earth and blow it all up. In this movie, we deserve it.

Score: 5 out of 5 for wicked alien badassery


Medium said...

I thought the line was " Everyone was shocked when.... "

Anyway, I need to add my take. minor spoilers below, beware.

Yes, to some extent I felt pity for the prawn. But at the same time I think the movie tries to create an inner conflict; make you pity them and at the same time despise them. These are creatures that are clearly more advanced than us; they have better technology and are physically stronger. And yet, despite their advantages, they listlessly settle into a ghetto. Never does the movie suggest that (with the exception of a few individuals) the alien race has really attempted to fight for a better life.

Ken pointed out that, yeah, the prawn are lacking in resources. The movie skips over the creation of District 9 very quickly. And the scene from the previews where they are interrogating a prawn about what they want was apparently cut from the movie. But clearly they had enough weapons to create an entire Nigerian pawn-weaponry for cat food trade industry. It seems that 1 million prawn, with that amount of weapons, should have been able to make some sort of focused stand for better rights.

You almost have to assume that there is a direct comparison to African-American inner cities; and the concept of their cyclical nature: Are the people stuck in the ghetto because they are apathetic and don't care enough to leave; or are they there because they lack the resources to get out?

I think most people would agree that in the real world there is a mix. However, in the District 9 prawn world... there is almost no evidence to suggest that they (apart from Christopher) have even attempted to improve their standings. It is mentioned in the movie that possibly the leaders died and all that is left are workers. Maybe they don't want better lives. Maybe they don't care. In which case, yeah, it's still wrong to mistreat them, but it becomes much harder to pity them.

I just remembered, after finishing up my argument, that yes, the movie does mention prawn-on-human violence. It seems up to interpretation whether this is focused or just random indiscriminate violence. I guess it depends on how you interpret these scenes as to whether you think the prawns have taken action to earn better rights. If you think they have, then my argument probably doesn't hold much water. Whatever. I've already typed it out, might as well post it.

Jason said...

This really helped me out, to see a bit where his vision of the Prawn came from.

A good view for anyone who saw the movie.