Friday, September 4, 2009

What do you mean you haven't seen District 9?

Day 4

I'm not sure if I loved District 9 or Up more this summer, but District 9 is certainly more interesting and possibly more controversial. I'm not going to give anything away, but I really think you should go see it.

From the first shot, my disbelief was suspended. The gritty, documentary style of the opening scenes present this alternate present day South Africa has a completely real place. Now, as you may have heard, some viewers in South Africa were disappointed with how their country was portrayed in the film. Many are concerned that viewers unfamiliar with South Africa will take this portrayal of South Africa as a true reflection of how it exists today. I feel that now that we've discussed this, you will all be able to go into this film and distinguish fantasy from reality. In an age of secret prisons and homeless camps, I have no trouble imagining that the presented situation could have happened in any number of places. It's also important to remember that this is an alternate reality.

Beyond the setting and style of the film, I loved the protagonist, Wikus, as played by Sharlto Copley. Wikus felt real, and I loved his imperfections. His path to the right thing is better for self preservation, betrayal and all of the very human impulses that could very easily play out in such a situation. If he had been entirely altruistic, the story would be ruined.

Now, I really don't want to give anything away, because I want your experience with this movie to be as fresh and exciting as mine was. What I will say is that you can see Peter Jackson in the violence...early Peter Jackson. People aren't mauled or torn apart, they explode like jello and it's kind of funny. Still, even though I laughed, it didn't damage the experience for me. I hope you'll be able to agree.

The last thing I want to mention is that the audio engineers who worked on this film deserve an academy award for their amazing work. Perhaps while you watch, you too will be struck by the fantastic language they created for the alien species.

Don't wait for the sequel, it can't possibly compare to this exciting, enjoyable, great movie. Just go see it already.


  1. I can't wait to see this! We were going to see it tonight, but went to "Extract" instead. But soon!

  2. Do it!! Shit, is it still at the Alamo? We'll go with you. Both me and Edmund want to see it again in the theater.

  3. I haven't had a chance to see it yet either. However, I did listen to a really interesting NPR story about how the poverty and racial strife portrayed in the film is actually very much based in reality of the past apartheid, at least according to the filmmakers.
    Part of the reason the film was set there was to illustrate this to the rest of the world. At least the filmmakers wanted to show their view of life there, I'm sure from a predominantly white perspective. Controversial to say the least.

    Great review, I hope I get to see it before it goes off!