Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, violence stems after an alien race are forced to live within the slums of the country, before the government begin to plot their removal from the area known as District 9. The race, named “Prawns”, have been on Earth for almost thirty years but now their initial welcome by humans has disappeared. The man overseeing the removal operation, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), finds himself exposed to an unusual chemical that ironically forces him to rely on the assistance of two “Prawns” to save him. A really bizarre but at the same time equally as interesting flick that’s currently on Netflix.
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Writers: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
Starring: Sharlto Copley
Heading into District 9, I had little to no knowledge of what to expect from the flick other than the impressively high IMDB score it held – despite the relatively small budget. Rather uniquely, the filming style was similar to a documentary and commentary from many of the characters made it extremely believable and authentic, that being a real strength of the movie.
The aliens themselves, or “Prawns” as they were referred to, were created using some brilliant CGI and as mentioned, you really emphasised with their struggle and general treatment on Earth. With that being said, there is also some brutal violence right from the off and that didn’t really slow down at all as the film continued.
To the filmmaker’s credit, during most of the scenes, you ended up finding yourself wondering who the good guys were and who the bad guys were, but maybe more importantly, you found yourself invested emotionally into the well-being of the CGI alien life forms that were being removed from their District 9 homes. The atmosphere was worthy of a mention too – it was rather bleak, dark, threatening but somewhat realistic of the situation the country found itself in. The realism portrayed really made you wonder whether this kind of event could impact Earth and if it did, how we as citizens would handle it along with the powers that be.
It’s definitely worth highlighted the performance of the lead character, Wikus van der Merwe, played by Sharlto Copley. He was absolutely superb and spearheaded the movie, being the focal point of most, if not all of the scenes. Not much of the dialogue felt forced or staged at all and you really felt the emotion through large portions of the flick.
Something else to note would be the fact that the ending of the movie most certainly teases you for a sequel – there’s an almost limitless pot of story the filmmakers could delve back into with the potential most definitely being there for a successful second film.
Overall, a really fascinating and ‘different’ Sci-Fi movie that if you’re even remotely open minded then you will more than likely enjoy this one. As mentioned, this movie is currently streaming on Netflix.
“Hello, little guy! It’s the sweetie man coming!”Wikus van der Merwe – District 9