District 9

Borrowing from my insightful wife's mouth, in a word, District 9 is "gross". To her chagrin, I add, "yet strangely intriguing, exciting, intense, and difficult to turn off." The tale of a racist South African's inadvertent involvement (to say the least) in interspecies intrigue is rife with gut-checking gore, unrepentant violence, villains without remorse, thrilling action and moments of emotional resolve. Quite an achievement for first-time director Neill Blomkamp.

Amongst the slew of incredible sequences in the film, I have to admit my favorite moment is just when the main alien "Chris" utters "Fuck!" in his own langugage. I laugh every time as the subtitle flashes on screen, the alien character eliciting a translated, very recognizable emotion as he and Sharlto Copley's human counterpart attempt to rescue their lives. The film contains many of those little moments, sometimes neat, sometimes gory, sometimes tender, that keep you intrigued and watching. Look away, look closer but tough to ignore, District 9 succeeds as an science-fiction film that feels like a contemporary story of racist struggle.

No comments: