Monday, August 13, 2012

Dystopian City Lights

City of Ember

Directed by Gil Kenan
Written by Caroline Thompson
★ Saoirse Ronan, Toby Jones, Bill Murray


What is it we movie buffs are searching for? I often thought it was the perfect film. But City of Ember makes me think differently. Maybe it's the perfect viewing experience we're searching for instead. The right film at the right time. And in contrary to the perfect film, it is possible to find the perfect viewing experience.

I wanted something new, fantasy-esque, that's easy to get into and understand, but still challenging enough for my mind. Something with good, young actors and beautiful cinematography. And art direction, an interesting art direction with many small details and other perks. A mixture of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Kind of. And guess what? I got this!

To be honest, I'd watch anything with Saoirse Ronan in it. She is my favourite teenage actress by far, and just one year older than me. Always kick-ass, in a way. And talented as hell. Which I can't say about her co-star Toby Jones, but whatever, he was alright for his part. Not that there was much chemistry between the two.

Well, this isn't a film about relationships - it is a film about a dystopian future in which the last humans live in an underworld city where the sky is a cloud of electric lights. And, well, they forgot that they were supposed to get back to the surface after 200 years, and now the generator is broken and their town is about to break down. Of course, some young blood needs to save this world, and Saoirse and Toby go out on a search for the instructions on how to leave the city of Ember.

There are two reasons why I loved this story: 1) it is dystopian and futuristic, and 2) there was an adventurous and challenging search involved. Whenever I watch a movie like that I think that some adventure like that would be a great alteration from going to school to begin with, and when it's ended I think "Cool, I just watched this and it was great, but I don't have to go through what they went through".

The thing about dystopian futuristic films is that they're almost always good. Because there are so many interesting stories you can get out of a dystopian futuristic setting. The other perks, as I said, are art direction, costumes and cinematography. For example, in City of Ember, the people wear brownish wool-clothes and it's all earthy and... down-to-earth I guess. And the same goes for the cinematography etc. There's something nice about this, and actually about the almost socialistic society these people live in. I mean, actually it's horrible, but I couldn't help but think it would be so easy if everybody was "the same" (except for the mayor). There didn't seem to be any concurrence fights in the school for example. But whatever, it would never work, and I guess you would rather be free instead.

I was just ranting. One last thing I want to say: the ending of this film (without wanting to spoil anything) will make you want to sing a happy song.


  1. I actually really like this film. For the same reasons as you. I like the concept and the look. And Ronan of course. It's a pretty awesome ending :)

    1. I had some tears in my eyes, it was so beautiful!

  2. I've been curious about this film because of Ronan, your endorsement might just be the thing to get me moving on watching it.

    1. Yup, I hope you'll like it. It's much better than you would expect.

  3. The trailer looks fun, sort of a mix of Cube (1997), 12 Monkeys (1995), and The Goonies (1985). The rotten tomatoes score makes me uncertain, though, but critics are not always right!

    1. Haven't seen any of those, but if that's a reason for you to watch it, that's good.
      Don't expect too much, but more than a rotten tomato.


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