Every now and again a movie comes along that reminds me exactly why i fell in love with the medium of film in the first place. District 9 is that film for me at the moment.
Produced by Peter ‘Lord of the Rings’ Jackson and directed by Neil Blomkamp, based upon his short film, this is indeed a powerhouse of Intelligent filmaking allied with some of the most impressive visual effects i have seen in a long time.
Aliens have reached earth and their huge ship is hovering above the city of Johannesburg. Following months of inactivity the humans force their way in to the ship only to find thousands of starving aliens barely clinging to life.
They are transferred to the surface and kept in a compound known as District 9. This soon turns in to a slum and has the same social problems as any other slum anywhere in the world. Some aliens start venturing out and commiting crimes against the human population. The authorities fearing a backlash decide to relocate them.
The film centres around Government worker Wikus Van De Merwe. He is tasked with managing the resettlement of the aliens and a search of one of their homes yields an alien object which fires some liquid in to his face. The resulting problems caused by this represents the cornerstone of the film.
What is the liquid? why was it there? are the aliens up to something? if so, what??
Neil Blomkamps decision to base the film in South Africa has paid off. The film has that gritty realistic feel, that has more in common with a social documentary than a science fiction film. But this only adds to the realism.
There are times when you feel you are watching a socio political documentary about living conditions in the slums of south africa. The 30 million dollar budget is miniscule particularly against the back drop of highly impressive visual effects and action set pieces.
Watch and be impressed.