This post-apocalyptic police procedural makes South West Trains appear appealing. Those who thought they got an upgraded, enlarged and broadened version of this Bong Joon-ho cult classic should be wise by today. This Snowpiercer which made its way onto Netflix over the weekend dances to a different beat entirely.
Within an atmosphere which is described as claustrophobic this steampunk class warfare on wheels is enjoying with a very long game. Characters are lurking out of the woodwork instead of relying on introductions. Sam Otto’s Osweiller is perpetrated treasonous before revelling in authority acts pulls rank as Mike O’Malley’s Roche is more layered, less expecting but humane under the veneer.
Elsewhere liaisons perpetuated by need, grounded by jealousy and exploited through accessibility dig deeper into the rabbit hole. Diversion and deception are the stock in trade of the Melanie of Jennifer Connelly, who keeps an ice-cold demeanour of omnipotence. Layton meanwhile supplies the heart and soul that exists under the power struggles, class divisions and prejudice that is superficial. Daveed Diggs joins back to front and vice versa while the investigation proceeds to act as our way into this seventeen-kilometre jigsaw puzzle.
What a few people are failing to see is this show explores cultural ecosystems. Snowpiercer not only seems to amuse by researching the human-animal but also shines a light into our preoccupations and tangled motives. Addiction is touched while more shady elements start throwing their weight about on as references to Kronole make their way to the conversation. Flashbacks are sparingly employed, and Barry Robison’s production design is enhanced as the story deepens.
At present, the world is adapting to another method of life that requires tolerance, resilience and understanding. For the first-time class, status and power mean very little as a particular virus has levelled the playing field. Like all courses in lockdown, this show could be thought of as a microcosm in that regard. For us, there is not any serial killer with a taste for castration we have to factor into each day of our isolation.