District 9 is not a 10/10

Posted by Bel. The time is 8:03am here in Wellington, NZ.

When the midas touch of Peter JAckson is extended to a first-time director the world has never heard of, we all sit up and take notice. This is what has happened with Neill Blomkamp and his debut District 9, one of the most anticipated films of the year. (Yes, I would say it is up there with Harry Potter.) (Haha, somewhere out there, a nerd just lost their wings.)

And District 9 has a lot going for it. The special effects are seamless, just mindblowing. If you are even considering seeing this movie, then go now and check it out on the biggest screen you can. The international release of this film within days of the Avatar trailer also hitting our screens signals some of the big technological steps forward the industry is taking.

But filmmaking is not a technologically-driven medium. The purpose of a film should be to tell a story, and this is where I feel District 9 has missed its final goal. It doesn't know whether it's going to be a sci-fi film or a splatter movie or a scathing documentary. Much has been said about the 'social issues' that are incorporated in the plot, however this is so transparent and unfulfilled that it becomes defeatist.

The film is hardly 'The Power of One meets Alien'. It is neither as original or confronting as either of those, but owes a lot to them. Without all the bells and whistles of the latest technology, people would have a lot less to say about District 9.

2 thoughts on “District 9 is not a 10/10”

  1. Lou says:
    But The Power of One [film]'s treatment of social issues is transparent and unfulfilled so perhaps it is The Power of One meets Alien...

    *Lou shudders in memory of the way that film massacred the book*

  2. Yes, I think I am thinking of the book more also.

    District 9 is blatantly about white South Africa's treatment of blacks. But then in the movie, there is a group of Nigerians who also live in the alien slum. They are portrayed as corrupt, uneducated, and violent - living in hovels and exploiting the aliens for their own benefit (essentially the same way the movie's corporation MNU does, but with less sophistication).

    Perhaps this was meant to be a dual commentary that other countries in Africa are implicit in the apartheid mistreatment also? Fuck knows. Like I said, the technology-laden medium was the message, and that's about it.