so i watched snowpiercer
so, i was thinking about our previous captain america – as you do – and how chris evans said that nobody watches any of his good films. so Obviously, i thought to myself “is that a challenge, sir?” and then went straight to netflix.
so, netflix recommended me snowpiercer and my dumbass was like “who tf is she?” but, i am a Simple Human – i see “chris evans” and i click. they said it was a 97% match for me or something so i said “bet. i’ll take ur word for it”
someone tell me why i have been sleeping on snowpiercer for mf six (6) years??? like, who really gave me The Right ??? in conclusion, i am undeserving.
snowpiercer was so mf good and, surprisingly, v v political ??? like, i don’t know why i didn’t watch it sooner. it’s so weird and bizarre at times but the absurdity is v well placed that the movie becomes ten times better. going through a movie lasting over an hour and a half, ur bound to be drained, especially when it’s an allegory about social class structure and revolutions and it’s set in one (1) giant train hurling at ass miles per hour. but this movie had such a wild contrast of outlandish eccentricity and suffering that it was just so compelling to watch everything unfold.
okay so, ngl, they Didn’t have me at the start. i was rlly confused n a bit bored but i came for chris evans and stayed for octavia spencer and tilda swinton. coming into the movie, i had no idea what it was about and glossed over the synopsis so i didn’t know what to expect. but whatever my predispositions were, they weren’t That. this movie rlly rlly shocked me. at first, it took a while to get into and i kept stopping and starting waiting for someone to just get decked. but then they started talking about la revolución and my eyes were glued to the screen.
in the beginniningning, i was so waiting for someone to just get shot and each time i anticipated it, it never came, so i gave up until the soldiers came barging in, demanding certain kids to be taken away on the orders of wilford, the guy whose train it is. seeing the children be violently ripped apart from their parents i was like oop, now ain’t that eerily familiar and gut-wrenching. this is a super duper horrible part of the film but this scene let’s us see just how terrible and unrelenting life is for those in the tail-section.
literally, the tail-section are just cattle-class citizens that are only kept around bc they produce a lot of children, but we’ll get to that later. but then this one guy, andrew, retaliates and throws his shoe at minister mason bc they took his son and he is brutally punished for it. and i love this movie for not having to use flashbacks to show us the cruelty against the tail-sectioners for the 17 years prior to this – not that flashbacks suck or anything – but this scene keeps us in the now and really really shifts all of our sympathies to the tail-sectioners like fifteen minutes into the film.
also omg omg omg there is this symbolism about “arms” that keeps reappearing and arm (haha, get it) living for it. okay google – give me all ur idioms about arms:
- arm of the law – the extent to which the authority n power of the law extends – in snowpiercer, it is throughout the whole train. even the revolution itself is orchestrated by the dictator and self-named deity, wilford. he has complete control throughout the film even when it seems unlikely
- chance one’s arm – trying to do something even with little hope of success – the entire revolution tbh and andrew’s own rebellion against minister mason
- cost an arm and a leg – v v cash money – while the revolution wasn’t a drag to the economy, it was a drag to personal expenses like heart, soul, life and energy. only three tail-sectioners made it to the front of the train, tragic really
- give ur right arm – doing almost anything to obtain something else bc u desire it so – again, revolución
- up in arms – v angey v Big Mad – are u seeing the pattern here?
- (keep) at arm’s length – not allowing urself to get friendly or close with someone – wilford’s refusal to go to the tail section, making it so that a tail-sectioner is the first human to walk the full length of the train. imagine being That gross. like, how can this be wilford’s train and even he hasn’t stepped foot in the tail-section.
just as i thought, trash!also the physical and psychological distance between tail-sectioners and all those more privileged, as there are several barriers between them in terms of the inability of the privileged to empathise as well as their inability to physically go to the tail-section due to the fear of throwing off the hierarchical balance. it’s so grotesque but so well created within this movie – ugh i have to Stan
it’s also about the idea of self-sacrifice and doing the most for the greater good. this becomes much more apparent as the film goes on and it’s so thoughtful. but also lol tell me why All of these can relate to snowpiercer pls. it’s so so fascinating to me now, even something as trivial as these idioms.
anyway, so after this, my man andrew has his arm shoved in the freezing cold of a dead, freezing world while the train is still perpetually moving, and it is later amputated after seven minutes. during this time, minister mason has a patronising speech about the order of things n social hierarchy and i’d be lying if i said i didn’t want to Deck her. tilda swinton rlly brought the party to this train but omg i was just waiting for the minute someone would thanos snap her out of existence. mason then picks up the shoe and says that it “is not a shoe. this is disorder. this is size ten chaos. this. see this? this is death” and honestly, watching it i was like uhhhhh sis wtf? bc in the midst of all this angst and rage and chaos u wanna see some bloody noses or something but instead, mason just starts analysing the shoe in such a fanciful manner and eye- eye have to laugh. this is what i mean! it was so absurd that i was like “nah fam, this has to be a joke or something, like, is this movie for real?” but as the film progresses, u see that this is minister mason’s character and the upper-classes are just That ignorant and patronising and bumbling and gross. the stark contrast of pain and trivial shoe analysing just throws u off completely. but the thing is, it wasn’t as superficial as i thought it was. it was so so important to include her shoe rambling for a while in order to show how the upper-classes view order and peace and social standing and to think that the tail-sectioners would care. especially in a post-apocalyptic era where u would think that things like this would be far too insignificant to preserve during The End of the F***ing World, 2017. also, if that’s the punishment andrew gets for throwing a single brogue, imagine the punishment for throwing them hands.
mason then goes on to reaffirm their own wilford-given place in that they “belong to the front” while the tail-sectioners “belong to the tail” and the whole time i was like ??? gurl, as according to who? like, really ??? says whomst ??? and it’s this whole-hearted belief in ur belonging, entitlement, and superiority over others that was So compelling to see being created within this movie. this film is just a Fat commentary on social-class structure to be honest and i am Loving it.
okay so, the tail-section gets fed again and at this point, everybody is Big Mad at wilford and his boys and curtis is like “ur asking for it, ya dying for it” and thus the Rebellion begins. curtis is such an icon bc he figures out that there’s no bullets in the soldiers’ guns as they were all used up during the last revolt and im just like “ugh his mind!” and to prove it, he goes up to a soldier and puts their gun to his head and they pull the trigger and nothing happens and All Hell Breaks Loose
– Supernatural (season two, episode twenty-one and omg omg omg i was so fuckin thrilled like, bong joon-ho really said to me “This is what you came for” by calvin harris (feat. rihanna) and i have to say, sis was right. there are so many points in which i am absolutely spellbound by this movie in terms of dialogue, delivery, world-building and plot and This is certainly one of them.
then there’s the scene where they fight the black hood lookin ass men
riverdale wassup and i swear to god i was Quaking! it’s just all so well crafted. i really was Not expecting them to turn out the lights and start slaying them on ghost mode, like i was t-t-t-Terrified for the rebels. also, the lead up to this features the axe men cutting open a fish and bloodying up the axe and it’s just so so sinister. and even though we still had like an hour and a half to go i was like welp! they all finna die today! and while i wasn’t wrong, i was wrong. it was almost like a ritual before a massacre but i also read someone’s interpretation that said that the fish symbolises the tail-section: the upper classes eat sushi twice a year in order to try and control the population of the aquarium, just in the same way wilford and his mandem do the same thing in controlling the population of the entire train by orchestrating massacres. and when i read this my mind went BOOM !!! the execution of this whole scene was so stunning like i really did not know what to do with myself
in this fight scene, i tell u i was Shook. like, the way they have established the stakes in this film is so clever – i keep repeating it but it’s because it’s true. like, this rebellion is All that those in the tail-section have. it’s this rebellion or nothing and it just made me sympathise even more with them. however, at first i was like uhhhhhh the choreography for this fight scene is kinda poor. like, it’s so chaotic and blunt but then i checked my dumbass and was like “well yeah, duh” because these people are not soldiers. they arent fighters. of course the choreo is crafted to be chaotic and rash and unrefined bc they haven’t trained for this. it’s seventeen years of pent-up resentment and aggression directed at wilford and the privileged and rightly so. so, mayhaps im just Big Stoopid or this was such a smart directorial choice bc it shows the extent to which everybody believes in this “great curtis revolution” and how passionate they are that they will risk all that they have left.
in this same scene, tilda swinton makes a reappearance while my main mans edgar is being held at knife-point by the villain i have forgotten the name of. let’s call him ulysses klaue. okay, so ulysses klaue is like “we all die, u either kill ur edgar or get killed *boom boom doom boom boom* watchu gon do *boom boom doom boom boom* watchu gon do?” and it’s just this brilliant ultimatum and obviously he Has to go and seize minister mason bc viva la revolución but it’s his edgar! his friend! the one who has believed in and trusted him from the start! and it’s one of the most impactful Ls of the movie and when i tell u my heart broke. i knew what curtis was going to do but it’s this test of “what’s one man?” yanno. edgar believed in this revolution just as much or even more so than curtis did and i think that’s one of the sadder things. but ultimately, saving his right hand man would’ve done more harm than good in the long term and 74% of the population would have still ended up massacred. it’s tragic, really. poetic cinema yall
so curtis eventually seizes minister mason and when i tell u what a treat is what to hear chris evans – the man who played steve ‘watch ur language’ rogers do a complete 180 n say “Fuck!” finally! i think it’s truly amazing how they kept the hype going throughout this whole film. anyway, tilda swinton’s character is so mf jarring but she serves as this segue into the lives of the privileged where we have this massive switch in tone and lifestyle. and the thing is, watching it ur like “wow this is…absurd” but is it though? bc it’s really Not. it makes so much cent$ for it to be absurd in the movie because everything is absurd in real life. like, just walk in central london where u have people and stores and houses of immense wealth and still have homeless people on the sidewalk. and in the movie, u’ve got this juxtaposition of immense poverty and hardship with immense luxury and wealth all within the space of some carriages. it’s disgusting it’s and grotesque and even uncomfortable, but that’s real fuckin life. and if u don’t feel a way while watching it, you’re not paying attention. albeit we don’t live on a train, but this parallel of privilege and having nothing is so apparent today and it has always been. this film told me to “get woke, scully” and dare i say it, i must oblige.
so watching it i was like “yeah, this is weird” bc it is! u’ve got minister mason, who is just this strange caricature of margaret thatcher and effie trinket characterised by their eccentricity and habit to patronising who is also this symbol of being “better off” and cut-throat blunt about it. then they making speeches about “size ten chaos” standing right next to people who haven’t showered for seventeen years and have Every Right to be mad. but the absurdity is so extreme and even fantastic as the balance between these two realities is so intense it makes the movie ten times more staggering to watch. like, take a movie like thor: ragnarok for instance; for me, the balance of humour and pain is so well-placed that it’s easily in my top five mcu movies, but then take a film where this balance doesn’t exist and the juggling of humour and hardship is so disproportionate that the film sucks even while putting effort in to maintain some sort of medium – yeah, snowpiercer turned this on its head and made the balance so extreme that u can’t help but be mesmerised by it. the film is so self-aware in this sense that there is no way that this extremity could’ve occurred by accident, alleviating some of our ails while watching the movie but also serving to further illuminate the hypocrisy and barbarity of wilford and all he stands for..
like, take the classroom scene for instance where the kids are saying that they would “all freeze and die” if the train ever stopped working. they sing these lyrics with such patriotic belief and child-like joy that all the tail-sectioners there are like “uhhhhhhhh”. and that’s what i mean, this massive contrast but the movie being aware of it. the kids are deadass being indoctrinated and practically worship the train and wilford and it’s so uncomfortable to be a part of. the kids also take to call the tail-sectioners “lazy” and other pejoratives” and it’s like, ya lil nasties but ultiately they aren’t any older than seven and these sentiments have Had to been learnt from somebody else. children aren’t born with such enormous contempt and biases. in conclusion, the upper classes of the train ain’t shit and are all so ignorant to what is happening in the carriages after them and they’re no more than a walk away. this movie is two Fat extremes and it’s so interesting to observe.
this scene then leads us into the counter-revolution where wilford’s mandem and even the school teacher back out these phat guns and fire upon the protesters. it begins with this one creepy guy bringing in eggs for the new year and curtis finding a red scroll inside one that says “blood”. it’s then hauntingly revealed that bullets were only “rumoured to be extinct” and that they deadass really do be in existence as they shoot at anyone and everyone, and thus, my heart dropped once again, so loudly that i think i may have woken up my family members.
after this, there is this chase beween ulysses klaue and the rebels and it’s so intense. this scene gives us such stunning cinematography like, i really have to Stan. the way the stakes and surprises are established in this film are so impeccable. he flavour…it’s just..so Real. like, it’s a pretty basic plot if u think about it but the execution is so captivating and the world-building is absolutely remarkable. it’s almost hunger gamesy in the “let them tear each other apart” aspect if u think about it, bc really and truly, wilford had no problem murdering some of the upper classes too. leadership will always be corrupt no matter who is at the forefront.
speaking of the world-building, the carriage design was just mhmm that good shit *chef’s kiss*. there was a different style for each carriage and every single one was gripping and breathtaking. especially for a two-hour long movie that u have to sit through and see the gradual improving and flashiness of each carriage. ur really moving up the ladder
by herizen guardiola, 2016 and it’s gross and i hate it but i Love it. my heart really went BOOM for it’s construction though bc even though this film can get exceptionally heavy, it’s so easy to get lost in the background bc it’s so gosh-darned pretty.
so in the classroom scene during the counter-revolution, gilliam is murdered so chris evans straight up decks tilda swinton in retaliation n i mean oh my fuckin god she fuckin dead but,, i mean,, she did kinda deserve it so im not mad but um ulysses klaue is gaining on them and this leads us into one of my favourite scenes to gawk at. it’s all yellow and it’s smoky and it’s amazing. like, there are so many peng shots in this film im so mad i didn’t watch it earlier so i could already be on my twenty-seventh rewatch. also im Big Sad bc this is where tanya dies n she dies looking at the picture drawn of her son when he was taken away from her. like, who really gave them The Right? siri, how can i delete a movie and sue for emotional distress? this part of the film was so shocking like i really didn’t know what was coming next bc of how foggy it is. it’s also such a bright even off-putting yellow like, this much violence should not be happening here. especially bc it’s the sauna like ah shit, here we go again, the juxtaposition of self-indulgence and having no self to indulge in bc everything has been stripped away from you. love it.
in all of its absurdities, some films serve to make you think, but this film made me Feel. it’s a massive series of unravelling truths as we approach the climax and it’s just so moving yanno. so we have a reveal that curtis and the other tail-sectioners had to resort to cannibalism upon first entering the train and, naturally, it’s gross but we’ve already been on this hour and a half journey with curtis and his boys that we obviously sympathise. and by this point, we hate wilford and his henchmen so much that it really doesn’t matter. and it really raises the steaks
(haha get it. watch the movie and u’ll get it. watch the movie, coward) Again as we learn of what they had to resort to. then he reveals that people began to cut off their limbs for others to eat in order to avoid committing murder and ur like “oh darn, so that’s how it be”. it’s particulalrly saddening bc we discover that a group of men murdered this mother and were going to murder her baby for food too, and it’s revealed that this baby is edgar and one of the men was seventeen-year old curtis and it’s just
so we then realise the root of curtis’ self-doubting and why he is so reluctant to have gilliam and edgar, especially edgar, view him as a leader. it’s so sad, this movie. i really couldn’t predict most of it. though towards the end it got easier. like how namgoong minsu didn’t make sure that klaue was dead so i knew his ass would make a comeback
like the jonas brothers giving the people what they want, bless up but while this was predictable, it was still so fun to watch this disentangle itself. like, what i didn’t expect was the hedonistic, decadent, kronole-inhaling goofs to stage their own counter-counter-counter-counter revolution against curtis and the rest of his followers and fuck shit up severely. like, i have to admit, you got me there.
but omg, there were so many instances of foreshadowing that my dumbass didn’t get until the final build up to the ending where i then decided to enter my final form. like, there were so many that i missed and i am ashamed of myself for it. but it’s okay lads bc i got there in the end.
so there’s this really interesting part near the end of the movie where wilford is like “curtis, everyone has their preordained position, and everyone is in their place except you.” and curtis is like b
itchro, “that’s what people in the best place say to the people in the worst place” and in conclusion – snowpiercer is communist propaganda. no but really i was like hmm, interesting bc he’s not wrong. but ultimately, this conquest all comes tumbling down with the reveal that this whole thing has been orchestrated by both wilford And gilliam and ur like “damn, it really be like that”. and the turn in my stomach sis when i tell u i was Mad. hoes mad, hoes mad, it’s me, hello. i am hoes.
but when yona is trying to get a match from curtis to blow that shit up, it doesn’t work and she opens up a floorboard instead, revealing timmy, tanya’s kid, and then curtis is like “woah bro, that’s totally not cash money at all”. so curtis has his moment of truth and fulfilled destiny where he sacrifices his arm to save a child, just like gilliam did to save edgar and whew my mind is blown!
(just like the train by the end of the movie oop) at that moment, andy (ya boi andrew’s child) also pops up and when curtis tries to get his attention, he completely ignores it and almost robotically climbs up into the engine to do his job that was assigned to him towards the start of he film when he was separated from his father.
and it’s so frightening and sickening to watch bc at the beginning, minister mason declares how wilford “loves children” but really he loves their labour. bc while the engine is “eternal” the parts are not and therefore small children who can reach the spaces to fix and replace them are needed to do his handiwork. so this movie even touches on the horrors of child labour and workers’ alienation from their final product bc timmy and andy really are so unaware of themselves and their circumstance and wow i was joking about the communism comment but this is some real marxist theory oop. bc the controlling powers of our societies often dont give a fuck about the conditions of workers but rather the efficiency and quality of their output and that’s capitalism for u dawg. just like the children in the classroom, timmy and andy too are indoctrinated, controlled and continue on in an oppressive way of life that is sure to be reproduced as the train rattles on.
i am disgusted.
and omg omg omg this bitch-ass wilford then makes this gross comment to curtis, asking him if he think that his “station is[n’t] without its own drawback” bc uhhh haven’t u heard ?? “it’s noisy” like Boy if you dont Get- again. it’s that lack of self-awareness. or maybe he is self-aware and he’s just That repulsive and honestly, i don’t put it past the dude. i mean, he orchestrates rebellions every few years or so and uses child labour to sustain his giant hell-train while forcing the masses to eat ground up cockroach after he let them eat each other for survival. mmm yeah, he’s definitely just That repulsive.
anyway, even in this long ass essay there are still things that i didnt mention:
- this fucking part man. i mean, i have to be honest, i have to laugh. to reiterate, “what’s one man?”
- ooh, boon joon-ho, u sly devil you. so this was of some importance!
- the party scene was Wild ngl but realising why namgoong minsu and yona were collecting all that kronole n not just bc they’re addicts was really like rah, okay we get it, ur Big Smart, no need to flex.
- this scene was so Iconic like, curtis really did that!
- ugh, in this house we stan edgar. im sorry, i don’t make the rules
- this part was so Chilling! sis is alone for the first time in eighteen years and he just collapses. in this moment u can see how exhausted he is. for almost two decades he has waited for this moment, has endlessly dreamt of ending wilford and everything curtis has done and lost in the rebellion has led up to right here, right now and it is nothing like what he thought it would be
- i just deeped that curtis and namgoong minsu wrapped their arms around timmy and yona to shield them from the impact of the train blowing up and now i wanna c
ommitry bc that’s really Fuckin sad. this guy said he couldn’t be a leader. yet here he is, all leading n shit.
- i don’t think an item of clothing has ever made me this mad before
- this garden is also so so pretty! like, im really flabbergasted
- shout out to my mans, the artist, bc this was such a beautiful touch
- and this ending scene was so picturesque like im really Quaking
in conclusion, this movie is a masterpiece that my dumbass slept on for so long. it made me feel so many things. i was wrong to judge it as being boring at first bc it just needed time to develop n really get going. even if u don’t like the plot or the pace, ur bound to admire the setting and world-building and u also gotta appreciate the thought put into this movie too. like, i thought it was gonna b some boring old budget piece that was filled with lacklustre slaughter after slaughter with no depth or inspiration and i was wrong wrong wrong! can boon joon-ho just sue me already pls bc neither he nor chris evans nor octavia spencer nor jamie bell nor tilda swinton deserved that inital judgement. anyway, go watch this movie or perish.