We’re no great fans of science fiction or alien movies having watched few-to-hardly-any movies in this genre.
But with some SI readers slyly recommending District 9, we figured it’s time to take a look.
So after quickly skimming through a few reviews and finding them mostly adulatory, we hotfooted over to the mall and watched the matinee show ($6) of District 9 yesterday.
Folks, District 9 is a lovely movie that keeps you completely engrossed with events on the screen for the entire 120 minutes or so.
Directed by 29-year-old Neill Blomkamp, District 9 is an electrifying movie, one of the best we’ve seen this year.
The movie is the gripping story of a large group of aliens living in a Johannesburg slum for two decades after their mothership develops some problem over the city.
Shunted by the government of humans to the District 9 slum, the aliens, referred to disparagingly as prawns by humans because of their grotesque physical appearance, multiply over time to 1.8 million setting the stage for the inevitable conflict with their human neighbors.
Trouble, big time, erupts when the government hires military contractor and large weapons manufacturer MNU to relocate the prawns to a new location, 200 km away from Johannesburg.
Heading the effort to serve the eviction notices is Wikus van de Merwe, played with great elan by Sharlto Copley.
As events unfold and the battle between the MNU mercenaries and the aliens quickly intensifies, different shades of Wikus’ personality come to the fore and we recognize that Sharlto is a fine actor.
But much as Wikus is immensely appealing and endearing as he goes about first trying to evict the aliens to the new location, later dealing with his horrid plight and finally [won’t disclose this], it’s the gripping story, tight screenplay and decent graphics that held us entranced in our seats.
The graphics, while by no means stunning, are more than adequate and neatly integrate with the rest of the story.
The District 9 story is actually told skillfully in flashback interspersed with interviews of a cast of characters, video surveillance pictures and TV broadcasts.
Kinda like a documentary, but in this case the touch of verisimilitude is added to a fast-paced fictional movie. Cute.
This novel technique adds allure to the style of the movie compared to the convention method of merely narrating the story in a film.
We’re not sure if District 9 has released in India.
But whenever it does, do make the time for it.
If you live in the U.S., District 9 is in wide release here and must surely be playing in a theatre near you.