Have you seen this trailer? If not, I'll wait for you. Watch it first.
I won't quote any movie description or anything from IMDb. I'll tell you everything that I thought about what I saw.
I didn't know about this movie until 3 hours earlier. We thought we'd be picking Paranormal Activity, but since the screentime was very late, we picked Snowpiercer instead. The critic rating scored a very high 4.5 compared to the user rating which was almost 5 in score. Verdict: why so high? let's watch this instead.
The movie was quite long at around 2hours of screen time. However, it didn't really give me much time to criticize it or even ponder at the next turn of events. The plot was very new, very unique. Imagine an entire humanity inside a very long, self sustaining train.
However, a skewed government inside the train makes humanity no longer about humans. Nothing about it was really humane. The story revolves around an impending revolt from the population at the tail of the train. They wanted to take over the engine, which was very sacred to the humanity's survival.
To understand the intricacies of the story, you'll first need to understand that the train was the entire society, the last population of humanity saved from the onset of a global catastrophe which froze the entire Earth. The train is about 50 cars long (more or less). Imagine compartmentalizing the different social activities and basic necessities in a number of cars strategically placed against other cars.
A car for a greenhouse, for water supply, for shops, for healthcare, for disco, for swimming, for getting high.. go figure! The train was really built for sustaining different aspects of life as we know it (however skewed).
The tail end was the least kept, least maintained. It is dark, crowded and dirty. Food and water is scarce. Nobody gets to shower! Phew! The tail population is well monitoried so that their number doesn't go over the required count for balance. Imagine a rat population control, done to humans.
Children were taken from the tail and brought to the engine. They are placed inside the floor, so only children below age of five were fit to that small space; and spend their days there, replacing required parts for the engine.
If I have not best described inhumanity as of yet, the surprising twist of the story would really hurt your perception of the current world and how it compares to the train.
The tail end people ate protein bars which were made from cockroaches! Ground to their last bit and piece to form a jelly bar. No water, this is the only thing that sustained them. In the early days that they were put inside the train, they were left there without food. Curtis and the others had to eat human flesh to survive.
To me, the story is highly comparable to our concept of life, survival, humanity, heaven & hell and probably even the government. The tail and the end symbolized the alpha and the omega; heaven and hell.
The revelation that Wilford and Gilliam were friends came as a shock to me. They were in their post to keep the balance to everything. Balance. Even if it meant cutting their arm and influencing the thoughts of a man in order to groom them for a new role in the train.
How could one man's idea of free will be so convoluted? You probably wouldn't know. How will you ever react to hearing that you never seem to have had free wil from Day 1? How can your passion turn to be just some 'balance-keeping' plan? Is this how heaven & hell work? Like a good cop-bad cop tandem and watch everyone else in between fall along their roles?
I couldn't imagine the truth to this story could be just one inch of an exaggeration from what is already happening in our times. We don't need a train to see how skewed our lifestyles are (poor vs rich), or the privileges that we get based on our social status. Even the concept of wrong and right based on privilege of birth?
This movie, it didn't give me a chance to blink, nor to glance at my watch. Why couldn't I predict the next scene to take place? I just sat there, waiting to take in the next piece of information.
Kudos to the storywriters! Kudos to the director. The cast were stellar in their acting. While inside the train, you'll really feel inside it, like how they felt. A prisoner, maltreated, unprivileged, outcast--dying to get respect and become equal with the rest.
Ending? Without the train (without the skewed government), there's life.
A polar bear sees a human for the first time. "What is that?", it says.
Watch this movie and let your thoughts wander. What were your lessons? How did it affect you? Did it pierce you hard enough?