[Kmovie Spotlight] Review of ‘Snowpiercer’ (2013)


936full-snowpiercer-posterBasic information
Title: Snowpiercer (설국열차)
Release Date: August 1st, 2013
Genre: Science Fiction/ Action/ Drama
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Stars: Chris Evans, Song Kang Ho, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt

This week for [Kmovie Spotlight], I would like to introduce you to another successful film that brought about international fame: Snowpiercer.

Snowpiercer is different from the other movies I have discussed, mainly because it was originally produced for an international audience. In fact, there are only two Korean characters in the movie and more than 80% of the lines are in English.

But the director (Bong Joon Ho) does not forget to include a special treat just for the native Korean speakers watching the film. The very first lines that Namgoong Minsu (played by Song Kang Ho) executes are authentic, original Korean swear words that would make any native Korean speaker watching the movie burst into laughter. Namgoong Minsu, the security expert who aids the revolution to take over the Wilford train, takes on an interesting character as an skilled technician, funny companion, a protective father, and an intentional visionary fighter.

Aside from the interesting dystopian setting – it is 2031, when the earth has frozen because of climate change and its last survivors are confined to a train circling the globe – Snowpiercer is remarkable for its social commentary.

The train is divided into the haves and the have-nots. The means through which the elite class tries to control and reinforce social stratification, suppress lower class uprisings, and cope with the extinction of certain supplies mirrors the social struggles we face today. Behind the surface of exciting explosions and the thrill-filled fight for a revolution, there is a deeper message that brings light to the social inequality in the real world and our generation’s desire for radical change.

All in all, this is a splendid film that gets its international audience to both think and feel.

By Hajin Lily Yi