A very unique Scandinavian-English language film from the technical aspect. The only one kind in the whole world which is actually an experimental product from the new productions. It was made primarily using photoshop, and then adobe after effects for animation. If you're wondering what kind it is, actually a 2.5D animation, that means it is neither 2D or 3D, but between those two. Like tricking the 2D object as the 3D material.
Well they have succeeded to bring a visually impressive animation that mainly focused on the film character faces. The story was decent which is another dystopian concept where metro trains are the main content, hence it is called 'Metropia'. But the title also means 'visual refraction', that's what the story is slightly related too.
Anyway, it was very suspenseful till the final and mostly talking drama than physical action sequences. At some point I felt it was like the recent stop-motion animation 'Anomalisa', but realised that I predicted wrong and the story travelled in a different path to end decently. Though the overall film was very impressive from both technical and narrative wise. One must not miss it, just for a its rare kind, especially you like animations, but best suitable for adults.
Relatable films for me are "Brazil" by the atmosphere, "The Lives Of Others" by the paranoia and "Enter the Void" by the inner head voice-thing. Great stuff.
Anyhow, the year is 2024 and things are quite dark and sad. The oil are gone and everyting is gray and grim, also the headquarters of the metro that got all of Europe connected. People seem unhappy, also Roger that is the main-character here as he goes on a hunt for answers in a nightmarish world.
So far, so good - and it get's better. Vincent Gallo is the voice of the main-guy. Other voices are done by Juliette Lewis, Stellan and Alexander Skarsgård, Fares Fares and other known names. The music is splendid and so are the atmosphere. Among the trivia it must be mentioned that the faces are taken from real people - real, unknown, regular people that have been getting their faces caught by a photocamera and then solidly photoshoped. The director is an earlier big shot in the Swedish graffiti scene back in the 90's - that's way cool and you can tell he's got an eye for perfection. Again, this looks absolutely incredible.
Well, this got to be a big film for me, right? Sadly - no, it's not. The story is not engaging at all and it's really hard to stay focused. It got little suspense and no true climax. I don't really know the characters and the little drama we get is not interesting at all.
A shame to give this film a mediocre score, really, but it's just great craftmanship, without the correct ingredients.
5 out of 10 West Ham supporter scarfs.
I will say that Orwellian element are obvious in the story about terrifying Europe where the world is running out of oil, and a private underground network is created by joining all the various undergrounds together underneath Europe. The main character is Roger (Vincent Gallo) from Stockholm and he avoids the underground because he finds it disturbing. He uses a banned bicycle for transportation but soon things are starting to happen and he has no option but to use the underground. His problem is that sometimes when he is too near the transport network, he hears a strange voice in his head...
I liked the idea that ordinary people spotted on the streets were used as models for the characters. The main character Roger is based on a chef who worked at a restaurant in Stockholm where the Atmo (the developers of the story) employees were regulars, and Nina was found in a make-up store. Vincent Gallo accepted his part as the lead voice actor after having seen 30 seconds of finished animation as well as hearing that German actor Udo Kier, of whom Gallo was a fan, already was attached to the project.
As a movie I enjoyed it, even with the lack of effective narration, mainly because of the dark toned photography with a unique look and excellent collage of music, animation and suspense. Metropia has been awarded the prestigious "Future Film Festival Digital Award 2009" at the 66th Venice International Film Festival, recognized as "In perfect harmony with the story". I hope you'll have a chance to enjoy it.