4 January 2010

Coming Soon: District 10 - Now It’s Personal!

District 9 – Neill Blomkamp

It would be pretty easy to make several South African jokes about the accent and try to put quotes in about the way he speaks, but I’m not going to swoop to that level now. I loved this film, along with many others who have made it their top of the year and given it great reviews. It beat a lot of massive budget films to top prizes and it deserves to. Made for a small amount of money ($30 million), it has helped the film industry to once again realise, that money can’t buy success, much like the Manchester City football club (zing).

Set around the ups and downs of Wikus, a human set in the world where aliens exist and have landed in South Africa, where after many years have lived in a boxed off area named District 9. Following Wikus as he works for a company named MMU, he sets about trying to evict the aliens from their slums into a new area, but unfortunately for him becomes diseased from a black spray which rapidly turns him into one of the creatures ,or “prawns”. The performance by the unknown actor Sharlto Copley is brilliant because of his likeability, he isn’t some dick who thinks he owns the film and all the attention must be on him. And considering all of his dialogue is not scripted and improvised its real acting and real cinema.

The movie starts off with a mockumentary style we’ve all seen, almost like an alien version of spinal tap. The MMU members joking around are intercut with interviews with various fake people with high positions. This style quickly changes once Wikus is attacked by the black spray. It becomes a science fiction-heavy, action-loaded movie with a spectacular shift in pace which I was first dazed by but feel in love with. You’ll quickly become in affection for the aliens, once you lose the whole, face like a prawn, weirdness about them. In this film, they are not the bad guys; they are not spitting acid at pregnant people, or ripping through people in jungles or make small children ride bicycles all day long.

What I also quite enjoy about the film is the themes of racism and xenophobia. It’s not done in a tacky way which makes you hate the film even more; it’s down in a sensible, emotional way, which does affect the audience, especially with the abuse to Christopher, the creature who helps Wikus throughout the film. The connections between this and Cloverfield are going to happen with science fiction films being lead into a different path. This was bound to happen, using the same linear structure, using the same techniques have become boring, three films that have changed this is Star Trek, Cloverfield and District 9. The lead up to the ending is some of the best cinema I’ve seen for years, I defiantly recommend checking it out. I hope there is a sequel, just not called District 10.


If you like this, you'll love: Cloverfield, Star Trek, Aliens, Them


Simon Childs

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