Writer- Director Neill Blomcamp and Writer Terri Tatchell have developed a screenplay that is certainly in the science fiction genre but is rich in its honest and unrelenting portrayal of the worst in us as human beings. There are some glimpses of hope for human beings in the flawed portrayal of the main character of Wikus Van De Merwe played with such a noteworthy performance by Sharlto Copley. The movie is a condemnation of the heights that our bigotry and paranoia can lead.
The immediate allegory is set with the story taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa where the alien spaceship first appears and stays. The plot follows in docudrama style with almost CNN News intensity as the aliens become the first interplanetary refugees on earth.
There is no sugar story to this film. The is no Captain Kirk optimism. It portrayed a reality of how more likely we would we act in such a situation, than how some of the best lofty science fiction novels have portrayed human beings would rise to such momentous occasions like first contact with aliens.
Forget the aliens, it was really the film was a mirror on how we have treated and are treating each other because of our differences. It is uncompromising in this subject without being preachy. I think Producer Peter Jackson should be congratulated for bringing such a project to fruition. It is definitely one of the best films of the year.
The aliens and special effects are also commendable in this film in their realism and portrayal. Their subterfuge and refusal to use their technology to war against, the humans while trying to find a way to fuel their ship, was great subtext to the film. To the humans they seem like worker drones. This deepened the humans objectifying of them and abuse of them.
See the film and be moved. It received applause during the closing credits during the showing in our movie theater.