Andy Finally Watches… District 9

Au Revoir folks. Bit of a while since my last review, this is due to me and the old ball ‘n chain having a mild Big Bang Theory addiction and watching it repeatedly. Anyhoo, when this popped up on the telly, she exclaimed that it was a weird film, so I had to watch it. Enjoy

District 9

I’m Never Eating Prawns Again

In the 1980s, an alien ship appears above Johannesburg. A military team enter the ship and find a load of extraterrestrials all sick and stuff so the Government set up a camp underneath the ship for them to reside in. This area is named District 9, which is handy as that’s also the name of the film. As time passes, there develops an unrest between the inhabitants of earth and these intergalactic beings, resulting in District 9 becoming a slum, controlled by gangs and with some hefty violence, and the other planet folk addicted to cat food, like the fat kid and cake. After about 20 years the Government hires a private security company of sorts, called MNU, to serve eviction notices to the million plus derogatory-named ‘Prawns’, and move them to a new camp out the way of the bad men. If you haven’t seen this film and are thinking ‘WTF?!’ it’s at this point that it gets weird!

Set as a recollection of events and documentary, Sharlto Copley stars as Wikus van de Merwe, who is appointed by an MNU boss, who also happens to be his father in law as well, to lead the big move. Although not wanting to see them hurt, he is the initial antagonist, just because he is a dweeb on a power trip. He is patronizing and taunts them when he finds anything the Prawns shouldn’t have when searching their shacks. In one shack, he finds a mysterious tube, which sprays mysterious stuff over him. The story then follows him as he deals with being infected with alien stuff as he starts to mutate into a Prawn. From being captured and subjected to tests, to his subsequent escape and fugitiveness, assisted by the Prawn whose mysterious fluid it was that sprayed in Wikus’ face (does that sound a bit wrong?!)

Congratulations, Mr Johnson. Now, just sign here and we’ll have the truck deliver your prize of a year’s supply of cat food.

This film is described as a Sci-Fi Thriller, which I nearly fell off my chair at because I lost count of the amount of times I laughed out loud, and genuinely believed it was a comedy. From the cat food addiction, to the Prawns having names such as Christopher Johnson, to accusations of interspecies hanky panky, there is so much to find amusing, yet at all times, it feels real. I found it a very moving film, I know that the alien bit isn’t real, yet, but scrape away the surface and there are some profound and real issues to contend with.

In almost every country in the world, there is a minority of people probably not born there, who at times are subjected to abuse through no fault of their own. Their home is dangerous or poor and they move in hope of a better life for them and their family. To work and contribute to an economy willing to offer them refuge in return, only to be victimized by people who were born there through chance, not choice. Whether this is deliberate with District 9 or I am talking bollocks again, you see it there nonetheless. And the portrayal of Wikus, as he descends from antagonist, to antagonee, to see things from the others situation, is quite a journey to watch.

On recollection, it maybe is obvious that District 9 isn’t a comedy film, but it’s still funny. Portraying real life issues such as political corruption, civil war and racism, the score is a powerful accompaniment to a power film. Maybe I’m reading too much into it and it’s just an imagination run wild but this is my review so I’m sticking with the deep and meaningful stuff!

One word: sunscreen.

For the first few minutes of the film, I had an inexplicable look on my face as they set the scene and I tried to get it. I’m pleased to say that I got it quickly and I urge you all to put on your best WTF?! look, sit back and enjoy. An awesomely weird film, but awesome is awesome.

Bonjour till next time!


One comment

  1. Victor De Leon · October 20, 2012

    Good write up. I love this movie, man. Glad you got around to watching it. Good job.

Go ahead, punk. Make my day.

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