The movie is set in the futuristic period of the year 2031 but confined to a self-contained habitat which is Snowpiercer a train travelling across the globe to keep the last survivors of humanity alive against the now inhospitable weather conditions of the world.
The train has become over the last 17 years a microcosm of the population of the world establishing its own law, justice, economy and social classes. Each section of the train is significantly different each with its own purpose. The front house the rich while the back is home to the poor. Between them is a prison, factories, refinery and various other sections designed to maintain the basic needs of the train and its occupants.
As their only existence is confined to these sections without anyone rarely moving up or down the train’s class system freely, the train conductor has become this omnipotent entity in the minds of its trapped travelers. However his message, presence and power has been exploited by the upper class to prey on the lower class as they use him as a figurehead to drive their selfish agenda.
The train slowly starts experiencing shortages of food and power which the poor citizens at the back have been worst affected and forced to make the most sacrifices in order to survive the hunger. As well as mechanical and maintenance as resources become scarce.
Curtis played by Chris Evans wants to revolt against this system and inspires a revolution for the lower class citizens to rise up against the oppression by planning to overthrow the guards and locks that keep them from reaching the front of the train.
The group have to battle through every section of the train to eventually find the answers they are looking for. Like does the great all-knowing conductor actually exists, what is at the front of the train and what is their purpose in the grand scheme of things?
The movie has so many deeper meanings and social commentary on society and religion, the interpretations could be endless.
How I see it as a man’s quest to find God as the very creator of this train which keeps humanity alive and their salvation is the train conductor, he sees everything and is the architect of their world. Curtis the man at the bottom of it all wants to know the meaning of his very existence.
The movie is has both a visionary view on humanity and visually interesting as the set and costume design drastically changes from train section to section. Director Bong Joon Ho brings to the screen a perfect mix of Art-house and Pop Science Fiction.