Find the list here: The Top 250 Films List Total Films Watched: 250/250

Sunday, 7 April 2013

#212 - 'District 9' (2009)

"When dealing with aliens, try to be polite, but firm. And always remember that a smile is cheaper than a bullet." - MNU.
An alien mothership hovers over Johannesburg and below a government controlled area houses its inhabitants. Conflicts and unrest grow between the locals and the 'prawns' - a derogatory term for the aliens, used by the locals. The government enlist Multinational United (MNU) to initiate a relocation programme which will see the prawns moved to a new camp. Wikus van de Merwe is given the task of handing out eviction notices to the prawns informing them of the move. He is understandably greeted with hostility. On searching one of the houses, Wikus finds a canister which sprays him with a black fluid that starts to have an adverse affect on him.
The Prawn Ultimatum.
It is refreshing to see an alien ship rock up somewhere different for a change. Not New York, Washington, London, Paris or anywhere that we have seen hundreds of times before. It's Jo'burg - wherein lies a different culture and is therefore dealt with accordingly. If it was to hover over the White House for example, it wouldn't last long before it was fired upon. In South Africa however, it became part of the city, with the designated 'District 9' (not famous for producing grain) becoming a refuge camp for the malnourished aliens that arrived on earth in 1982. The alien technology is of interest to both MNU and the local gangs but it is widely known that humans cannot operate the alien weaponry. This leads to some pretty horrible scenes of a gang leader consuming an alien body part to try and possess its abilities.
 Holy ship!
The film starts out with a documentary style which I think was the best approach in order to give the audience the necessary background information on the aliens. It makes the characters feel more real too. I like Wikus, he's funny and has a fantastic accent. "Fockin' Prawns!" makes me smile every time. He always looks out of his depth but he just carries on regardless. Without giving too much away, his character development is what makes this film. He starts out in 'Alien affairs' behind a desk, becomes the leader of the camp relocation and then has to fight his own personal battles.
There should be a documentary all about Wikus.  That would be fockin' awesome.
I have seen District 9 a couple of times before this challenge and I've always enjoyed it. If you haven't seen it, give it a go because it offers something a little bit different to the alien genre.

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