“Snowpiercer” : the symbol & metaphor train leaves the station

I just saw “Snowpiercer” and it was an entertaining enough movie. A single train that circles the frozen Earth once a year holds all of surviving humanity. The elite enjoy a luxury rail experience while the tail-enders live a life of desperate squalor. A small contingent of the have-nots fight their way forward through the carriages to the Sacred Engine (not Thomas) to wrest control of the train from the mysterious creator Wilford. Viewing this as a fairy-tale instead of an actual SF story alleviates the distress of seeing logic holes big enough to drive a perpetual motion locomotive through.

The film is weighed down with many carts worth of symbolic baggage like these:

Thug servants of the elite take turns gutting a live carp with razor-sharp axes, no doubt a metaphor for Man’s destruction of the environment.

A captured bureaucrat removes their dentures before pleading for their life, thus symbolizing the ultimate toothlessness of the elite’s lackeys when faced with a people’s rebellion.

One gigantic guard swings a sledgehammer at approaching mobs of the tail-enders as a metaphor for the way the writer/director uses metaphors.




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