My boyfriend D and I went to see District 9 last night, as a fun date night out. I will say, this movie was incredible, it was different from anything I’ve seen lately, but it was depressing. We left the theater kind of pissed off at humanity. Still, I definitely believe this is a must see movie. Just prepare yourself mentally that this isn’t a light-hearted flick. I’m not going to give a full synopsis of this film because I don’t want to spoil it.
One of the beauties of this movie is that the previews were so brief. I’m so sick of long drawn out previews where they give away the entire plot of the movie, and ruin the twists. Might as well not see the movie at that point!
What I will say is that the movie is set in today’s time, something most science fiction movies don’t do, especially when involving aliens. It is also set in Johannesburg, South Africa. I thought this was refreshing because for once the United States wasn’t where all the action was. Who’s to say aliens would make first contact over New York City? Like they would know the difference?
Also, if you see the film, you’ll see why South Africa is so important to the story, and so topical.
The background of the story, even with its plot holes, is really interesting. An alien spaceship comes to a hover over the town of Johannesburg, South Africa. The entire world waits for first contact, but it doesn’t come. The craft just sits there, suspended above the city.
Humans in their impatience, cut their way into the vessel to discover alien refugees who are malnourished and dying, many of them already dead. They are nicknamed “prawns” because, well, that’s what they look like. These aliens turn out to be refugees who can’t get home. It’s not clear to me in the movie whether or not their home world is gone, or if they just can’t get back to it because of malfunctions with their vessel. It’s one of the plot holes that I mentioned, but it’s not actually that relevant to the story. The point is, these aliens are stuck on Earth, and they’re not going anywhere.
The movie is filmed as if it were a documentary, with shaky camera angles and interviews with different people. The movie centers around a man named Wikus van der Merwe, who isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. In the beginning of the story, he’s the loveable idiot. He gets himself in quite a mess, all because he seems to blunder his way into it.
Wikus works for a company called Multi-National United (MNU), a private security firm that is in charge of the aliens’ welfare. Wikus thinks that the MNU are looking out for the aliens best interest, when in reality they’re trying to harness the alien weapon technology. Their weapons can only work with alien DNA and the MNU has been running secret, and incredibly cruel and horrific, experiments on the aliens in the hopes of operating their advanced weapons.
The aliens are living in squalor, very similar to the projects, except picture it full of aliens. They don’t have equal rights, and they aren’t allowed in public places. The MNU takes their weapons as if they won them in free online auctions or something.
I won’t give away the rest of the story, I’ll just say it’s definitely a movie worth checking out. It left me feeling a little bit sad about humanity, but it’s also a pretty big eye opener.