Sunday, March 21, 2010

The District 9!

We recently watched The Informant! and District 9 on consecutive nights. Watching these very different movies in such close proximity highlighted a lot of unexpected similarities between the two movie's main characters that I doubt I would have noticed had I watched the movies even a few weeks apart. For starters, they both work for companies known by three-letter abbreviations of their full names, but I'm sure that's just a coincidence. On a deeper level, both protagonists wind up in trouble in part due to their own naivety and both put in a sincere effort to make things right in ways that don't fit into their respective society's expectations.

In the spirit of truth being stranger than fiction, The Informant!'s Mark Whitacre is less believable than District 9's Wikus Var De Merwe, even though Whitacre is a real person. Despite his intelligence (or perhaps, because of it), he seems incapable of understanding the reality of his situation. Var De Merwe, on the other hand, quickly comes to grips with his situation despite being portrayed as fairly dim-witted (though to be fair, his situation is a bit more pressing than Whitacre's). Overall, I enjoyed District 9 a little bit more than The Informant!, but they're both above average.

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