Post-apocalyptic films are usually centered on the subject of survival, particularly of the main characters. Snowpiercer also banks on survival, but unlike other films of the genre, it plays on social reasons. The social standing of a person usually plays a backdrop in other works, as the government's regime is usually the primary reason for revolution. However, Snowpiercer focuses on those issues as the reason, because the way I see it, in their world, everything is held constant. They're all inside a train, and fighting to survive the cold. It can't be because of the government, because there is no government; they all adore Wilford (the creator of Snowpiercer), and somewhat established a rather flimsy system. The film describes the back car residents as stowaways - does that mean that everyone else has bought their right to live inside? If they did, how do they make more money? There's no use for any kind of trade; in fact they're living off using their prime resources, technologies that they develop or vastly improve on whilst inside the vehicle. The only possible work inside the train are manual jobs that involve health, education, food, and leisure. There isn't even a use for warfare because who are they going to fight? In the long term, everything is held constant inside the train. You can't buy anything because any kind of exchange will be fruitless (and if they did work on exchange, it will just cause chaos). As the film explicitly pointed out, the train hasn't stopped moving, which means that there is no way in or out, nor are there also any possibilities for outside interaction. So it was really the maltreatment that the residents experienced that led them to revolt, a maltreatment that is further expanded in latter scenes of the film.
As the film progressed, there are a lot of plot holes that emerged, but it still didn't hinder the unpredictability that Snowpiercer was able to establish. As the characters go through the train, we're never really sure of what could cross their path - both the danger and the amazement of it. We're given glimpses of the content in some of the cars, and they hold surprises of their own. The film itself is unpredictable in a way that we're not entirely sure of what to expect, but as each scene played out, there was always that constant hunger for survival, to see their plan throughout even with any danger that they faced. Scenes were shot in conflict with each other, depending on the tone that the film was currently in. Most of the scenes that stood out for me were midway the film, particularly the school car and the tunnel scene. The color palette complimented these shots; it provided the scene with the right mood, the right atmosphere, the right emotion that you're supposed to get, whether if in awe, in daze, or simply sensing some kind of danger.
Although there were many plot holes, Snowpiercer was still an interesting film. The translator machine could have been a little louder and clearer; it was hard to understand mumbling at a low tone, for one. I didn't expect it to end the way it did, but that's what makes it unpredictable.
Final Word: There was so much hype surrounding Snowpiercer. The film was indeed good, but was it really that good?
Cast: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton
Director: Bong Joon-ho