My [scattered] thoughts on Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer. This was originally just a defence of the film’s ending—which I’ve seen widely criticised—because I think it’s brilliant and necessary and worth defending. But… then there’s everything else.
[major spoilers, of course]
yesss yup yup yup
a criticism a lot of people have of the movie is that the allegory is way too obvious and in your face. but in today’s world, where the everyday reality of most people on this earth is a sci-fi dystopia and those of us who are relatively privileged remain completely unbothered by egregious injustices and human catastrophes, i think we really need to be punched in the face with subversive art that very clearly spells out everything that is wrong with this world, and what and WHO it might take to change it.
and YES my favorite thing about the movie is that at first, you think it’s the typical chosen-white-male-savior-fulfills-destiny storyline. but by the end, you realize, it’s actually a blatant subversion of it. in that prototypical scene in which the white male protagonist is struggling with his destiny, something far more crucial is happening over there *spoiler* i.e the REAL revolution, rendering him irrelevant.
one thing i’m very interested in understanding is why all the “police” are asian. i believe it is a critique of Asian countries that have become hypercapitalist strongholds and surrogates to white/Western power. Considering the director is from South Korea, it could represent how South Korea has aligned itself with American military power and gone from rags to riches off the backs of poorer countries. There is an implicit belief that by siding with American power, we will ultimately be protected by it. But notice the scene in which one of the Asian police is being held hostage by one of the tail-end people and told to “surrender or die.” He cries out to Mason for help, believing his life is valuable enough to alter their agenda, but she simply shrugs and lets him perish. i thought it was a very clear message that in the end, all of us who take the bait to join the Western capitalist world will ultimately not be protected by white/western power.
watch the movie and then read elucipher’s awesome analysis.