From Producer Peter Jackson and Director Neil Blomkemp comes DISTRICT 9. Like many movies the trailers are misleading. A portion of the footage used in the teasers is never seen in the film itself but despite that fact the rogue footage remains loyal to DISTRICT 9's integrity. The scene is set in Johannesburg, South Africa in the not-so-distant future. Over 20 years after an alien space craft arrived hovering over the city the area of slums known as Distrcit 9 contains the alien immigrants referred to as Prawns. They are monitored and controlled by the MNU, a company only interested in making money off of what the aliens can offer at any expense. Filmed first in mockumentary style the film carries us from the past as it reels through what would be archive news footage of events leading up to the present. We are introduced to Wikus van der Merwe who is at first glance very unlikely to be the main character. After watching the first 20 minutes I half expected there not to be a main character but instead a sequence of conflict following conflict with a mosaic of different characters. The angle from which the film presents us Wikus's story you believe he is to be a lamb for an imminent slaughter. The ominuous interviews with his co-workers and rising action in the slums build to what would seem to be a very early climax. Wikus' introduction doesn't help his case either. He comes off as a cross between Michael Scott from THE OFFICE and Leland Orser from ER. Nevertheless the story carries on with him on the front lines. I must say coming off the way that he does it's difficult to find him aimaible. From the very beginning you receive a vibe from Wikus that lets you know exactly who his character is and you believe him to remain that way until he's killed or the movie ends. He is a man of self-preseravtion, or in this case species preservation. However it tricks you. Wikus does not start off as the protagonist, he becomes the protagonist after experiencing what is often known as a scapegoat's role. After his mutation and being subjecated to experimentation and torture Wikus begins to reform and adapt to the hand that has been dealt to him. Maybe it's because I empathize more with the Prawns that it's hard to empathize with him. The way he is portrayed within the first half hour I didn't expect him to last to the end of the movie. When I walked of the theater I realized that more than anything else this was a character study, one that I found particularly extraordinary. It concentrated on an average, timid, corky man faced with extreme circumstances and how he overcomes them. There is that point in the movie when you realize that this is not the alien's story, this is Wikus' story. Strangely enough I still manage to empathize more strongly with Chris, the Prawn Wikus befriends midway. It's cumbersome yet interesting to watch since a majority of the movie you're watching a character who isn't likeable until you draw closer to the climax but you want to keep watching. I wanted to like this character a lot more but I couldn't, he was still too much like his old self even once he was seeking refuge within District 9. I just found it hard to care at first. Wikus' reminiscence of his wife helps soften that up for me. The cinematography remains subtle when the movie tranitions itself between it's documenatry and filmmaking point of views. Truly the cinematographic style filmed strictly in a documentary fashion however there are scenes where the actual documentary and news cameramen never go yet the camera remains on Wikus. It's so subtle in it's delivery you often still find yourself believing your still watching a mockumentary film. The camera work and the editing doesn't sporadically jump suddenly from documentary to traditional film angles and cuts. It remains consistant in maintaining its visualistic style and continuity. It leaves us knowing that Wikus finally made the sacrifice we all wanted him to make, putting something bigger before himself or what he worked for. Even the documentary leaves us with a bittersweet epilogue. I'm uncertain as to whether they plan a sequel to this yet or whether they will leave it as it lies and I'm uncertain whether I'd prefer it either way.