Let’s face it; District 9 may have been fresh and engaging in its own way, but it’s not hard to tell that – like other Blomkamp movies – it’s just a thinly-veiled commentary on the wrongdoings of humanity.
The aliens don’t really represent aliens at all. They could just as soon be traded in for any race that has suffered oppression and cruelty throughout history.
The general idea here is that the aliens don’t pose any immediate threat to mankind; rather, mankind poses a greater threat to the aliens. They have no sympathy for them, and really no intention of sustaining their culture, unless they can be kept at arm’s length. Thus the derogatory term, “Prawns”.
Wikus showed compassion for the aliens, but in the end, I’m not certain this had the intended effect on the viewer. The message is that we should sympathize and even empathize for the aliens, but to what end? They don’t appear to want to stay on earth any more than the humans want them there, and they are most certainly capable of causing a significant amount of damage.
All that really remains is an awkward relationship; one that must be maintained and overseen by those in power. In effect, the aliens are in custody. There is no freedom for them on earth.
But I was left somewhat numb to the overall theme. I wasn’t watching Wikus kill other humans with alien weaponry going, “they deserved that”. Rather, I was watching going, “I can see why he might have resorted to that” (because turning into an alien would pose an inconvenience to his way of life). This difference is subtle, but very important when you’re supposed to be taking the side of the aliens, which appears to be Blomkamp’s position. Soldiers are killed off and blown to pieces, and the film is largely unsympathetic. There just isn’t a strong enough attempt at swaying viewer opinion.
Sorry guys, I know that the IMDb rating for this film is (a rather overblown) 8.0, but there’s no way I could give it that. I’ll offer it a 6.0, though even that feels fairly generous.
District 9 is a good movie, but it isn’t quite the masterpiece I was told it was.
In any case, I know I’ve rambled on long enough, especially with regards to eReaders and physical media versus digital media, so I’ll end by saying that District 9 is worth a single viewing, but I can’t see it holding up to multiple viewings. You don’t need to add this one to your DVD collection if you even have one. Stream away.
AS Rating: (6.0 / 10)