Snowpiercer Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Earth, our time. The global warming debate continues, truant teens hit the UN table with their shoes and demand that adults return their stolen childhoods, and most governments are looking for ways to do something about global warming, and find out if it even exists or not.

In the meantime, scientists and great academics have created an artificial coolant called CW7 that they believe will help bring the average global hospital temperature down to manageable levels.

Scientists can’t be wrong, the governments of 79 countries decide, after which these countries begin spraying CW7 into the upper atmosphere. However, something went wrong, the calculations of scientists turned out to be erroneous, and as a result, the temperature on Earth dropped to about minus one hundred degrees, after which the problem of global warming was really solved, because almost all life on Earth died, so man can no longer harm mother nature.

However, a tiny part of humanity was still saved. A man named Wilford (Ed Harris), who has been obsessed with trains since childhood, even before addressing the problem of global warming, created a train with an almost closed ecosystem that races around the globe on pre-laid rails. The only thing that should enter the train from the outside is drinking water, but the train gets it from the snow and ice that it breaks through during the trip. And something that is now enough in the new world is snow and ice.

There are classes on the train. The front of the train is occupied by rich people who paid good money for their place on the train. At their service – gourmet food, alcohol, entertainment, the drug Kronol.

At the tail of the train are the lower caste, freeloaders: people who were taken on the train without pay, and they exist in terrible conditions, and they are fed only with protein plates, and it is better not to know what they are made of.

The cult of the Sacred Mover is planted on the train, and Mr. Wilford is the guardian of the Mover.

The leader among the lower caste is a certain Curtis (Chris Evans). He set himself the goal of starting a rebellion, going through the entire train and taking over the Sacred Engine. Revolutions have already happened on the train, but they were all brutally suppressed, and the rebels never managed to get to the Engine.

From time to time, small hollow cylinders with short notes get into the tail compartment in protein plates. They contain information that helps the rebels. Apparently, they have some kind of accomplice at the head of the train.


A very unusual project. Post-apocalyptic action thriller, the script of which was based on the French comic book “Le Transperceneige” by Jacques Loba and Jean-Marc Rochette, director from South Korea Bong Joon-ho (yes, the same one who later shot the film “Parasite”), the script was written by himself directed by Kelly Masterson, filmed in English and starring famous American and British actors.

It was filmed still in 2013 (the Apocalypse of the film took place in 2014, and the events on the train take place in 2031), the picture was released in many countries. In Russia, in 2013, one of the distribution companies bought the rights to show, but Through the Snow did not appear in cinemas then. However, it was released in Russia in January 2020, apparently after the success of Parasite.

I read that Harvey “Scissorhands” Weinstein himself was impressed with this film and planned to either make a remake, or acquire the rights to the original picture and re-edit it in accordance with his own ideas (looking ahead, I will say that the picture in this is clearly really needs), but then it was known that, so that Weinstein’s scissorhands will never get to the picture now.

Nevertheless, the Americans acquired the rights and filmed the series with Jennifer Connelly, which was released this year. In the first season there are ten episodes, the series, judging by the rating and few reviews, turned out to be very so-so, nevertheless, the second season is still announced in the film bases, but it is completely unknown whether it is filmed at all or not.

But let’s talk about the movie itself. From the beginning of the picture, I was just delighted. Mankind, fighting global warming, freezes the whole planet to hell, destroying life on it – this is wonderful, and I’m almost sure that this could very well happen, because the incredible stupidity and stupidity of many representatives of the inhabitants of the Earth, especially people in power, judging by As it happens, it increases exponentially.

A post-apocalyptic train with an almost closed ecosystem, rushing along rails looped around the Earth – this was also well thought out, although not to say that it was too original.

Class differences, Curtis preparing La Resistance and consulting with wise old Gilliam (played by John Hurt), vile Aunt Minister Mason (played by Tilda Swinton, and we will talk about this role below), rebellion and an interesting idea to break through the doors – about three-quarters of the film was downright exciting. For a long time I have not seen such a spectacular and original fantastic action movie, we said to ourselves with the cat Bagel.

No, of course, all sorts of questions arose about certain plot twists, but it was clear that certain conventions and simplifications could not be dispensed with here, because the format itself – the remnants of humanity, thrust into a continuously rushing train – is terribly limited.

Chris Evans as Curtis – well, let’s say, not bad. In the story, Curtis constantly decides whether he is a trembling creature or has the right. In theory, all the outcasts consider him a leader, and the wise old Gilliam calls him a leader, but Curtis seems to have some kind of sin that gnaws at him.

Tilda Swinton as Mason is absolutely fantastic! Tilda is a wonderful actress, but here the role is downright masterpiece: I wonder if she herself came up with such an image, or is it a character invented by the director? But in any case, Tilda played just great!

Alison Pill from Develop had a wonderful episode in a car with learning kids.

The security specialist Namgoong Min-soo, who helps the rebels open the doors of the train, was played by Song Kang-ho (he later played the main role in Parasite with this director). He played very well: according to the plot, Namgoong Min Soo is a drug addict, he helps Curtis for the drug Kronol, he is constantly in a stoned state, but nevertheless he does not lose touch with reality.

Well, from the bright roles – the closest assistant to Curtis Edgar, who was perfectly played by Jamie Bell, and the unfortunate father of Andrew, who takes an active part in the offensive – he was very well portrayed by Ewan Bremner.

The life of the lower caste is shown in an interesting way, the infernal rubilovo on the eve of the happy Ekaterininsky Bridge is filmed very powerfully and in Korean bloody and naturalistic, the silent killer Franco turned out to be spectacular and inevitable (he was played by the Romanian Vlad Ivanov), the cars closer to the head of the train were made with good fiction , and everything looked very exciting until the moment when Curtis, with a few surviving rebels, reached the door with a huge letter W, behind which the Sacred Engine and Wilford himself, great and terrible, are hidden.

And here they themselves all crap spoiled! Bublik and I had an assumption of what would happen there, and initially our assumptions turned out to be correct, but then such a snowstorm rushed there that we both goggled our eyes in utter bewilderment and could not pull them back, so we had to sleep with open eyes, and this, I tell you, is not very comfortable.

Of course, I won’t say anything more, we’ll talk about plot stickiness at the end of the review under the spoiler, but believe me, this is a complete madhouse. So in a good way, you need to wait until the door appears, then finish watching and entertain yourself with inventing at least some decent ending. And even if it is not decent, it will still be much better than the finale of “Snowpiercer”.

It’s a pity. For three quarters of the film, it seemed like an interesting and exciting movie. But for such finals, you just have to kill, that’s what I’ll tell you!

Nevertheless, the rating of the picture is high, the criticism for the most part is either benevolent or enthusiastic, the film received several awards and became the “Best Action Movie” of 2015 at the “Saturn” film award – in general, one wonders, why are we with the cat Bublik baying? And yes, we are. We want to – and we’ll bay, what do you care?

PS Well, now under the spoiler, let’s talk about what they did in the final and why we were so outraged.

See. At the beginning of the film, it is clearly shown that there is a wild frost outside the train: in one of the scenes, the hand of the guilty Andrew is put out for several minutes, and it freezes so much that it can be broken into pieces with a sledgehammer. As far as I understand, there should be temperatures below a hundred degrees.

Who exactly serves the rails, along which the train has been rushing at great speed for 17 years, and also where many of the essences necessary for life have disappeared – we are shown almost the entire train, and, as it turns out, it consists of a tail with a lower caste, a couple of technical wagons, a prison, a water treatment car, a garden with a bar, an aquarium, a restaurant, a refrigerator with supplies, discos, saunas, a jacuzzi and, in fact, the head car with the Sacred Engine – we will not discuss, these are just cinematic conventions.

But the conversation between Curtis and Wilford, in which all the cards are revealed, we will discuss. Bublik and I assumed that Wilford would explain to Curtis the pointlessness of seizing power: he must understand that nothing could be changed on this train, and there was no escape from the existing class. Wilford did just that, inviting Curtis to take his place.

Explanations about why they let this lower caste on the train at all, which needs to be fed – they were enchanting. The lower caste must mate, give birth and supply children under the age of five. (At the beginning, it is shown how the soldiers of Wilford take away several children.) The children are needed in order to … repair the Sacred Engine. They are there inside the engine, half-naked, doing something there: they are changing the equipment. In a running engine. There is not enough space, so only children under five are suitable. Well, it’s the cattle that delivers the kids, that’s why they brought him here.

In addition, short notes with instructions for Curtis and Gilliam were written by Wilford himself. Yes Yes. People are multiplying, and space is limited. Well, everything, you need to somehow get rid of the surplus. Sending his soldiers to simply chop up an appropriate number of lower caste people into cabbages – no, such a move does not occur to Ulford. He has his own spy among the lower classes – just don’t laugh – Gilliam. They are actually friends and often have intimate conversations on the phone. Gilliam Wilford played along with these notes. He and Curtis were supposed to raise an uprising, reach the water car, in front of which the required number of rebels would be laid. But Curtis went further, which is why Gilliam was killed.

Brilliant, right?

Now the very end. Namgoong Min Soo suggests that Curtis blow up the door leading outside. Curtis says that then everyone will die, but Namgoong assures that, according to his observations, it is not so cold there anymore. Well, you know, like the level of snow has become less, droplets have appeared somewhere. The fact that just yesterday Andrew’s outstretched hand was so icy that it could be smashed with a sledgehammer – the film crew completely forgot.

Namgoong blew through the door, the train crashed, almost everyone on it died. Well, a bold move, yes, a smart one. Only daughter Namgoong and a five-year-old boy survived. The daughter and the boy have chic fur coats and winter boots. The daughter took a sheepskin coat in a drug room, where the rich sat naked in sheepskin coats (charm, charm), where she got the boots from is unknown to science, and where the boy got the sheepskin coat and boots is generally unknown to anyone. But a polar bear is watching them. So life goes on, so the polar bear will have something to eat. Amen.

The majestic ending, I think, is simply majestic. It was like a decent movie, but in the end it turned into some kind of delusional trash. Well, it happens, what is already there …

Through the Snow / Snowpiercer movie meaning


Bong Joon-ho


Chris Evans, Kang-ho Song, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner, Alison Pill, Ko Ah-seong, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Vlad Ivanov

Budget – $39 million,
Global gross:  $87 million South Korea-Czech Republic, 2013, 126 min.

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