6.3/10
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31 user 53 critic

Metropia (2009)

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A complex story of a misaligned man, though good intent, creating a nightmarish Dystopian existence.

Director:

Tarik Saleh

Writers:

Fredrik Edin (idea), Fredrik Edin (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Gallo ... Roger Olofsson (voice)
Juliette Lewis ... Nina (voice)
Udo Kier ... Ivan Bahn (voice)
Stellan Skarsgård ... Ralph Parker (voice)
Alexander Skarsgård ... Stefan (voice)
Sofia Helin ... Anna Svensson (voice)
Shanti Roney ... Karl (voice)
Fares Fares ... Firaz (voice)
Fredrik Eddari Fredrik Eddari ... Mehmet (voice)
Doreen Månsson Doreen Månsson ... Asylum TV-Hostess (voice)
Indy Neidell Indy Neidell ... Wayne Marshal (voice)
Joanna Mikolajczyk Joanna Mikolajczyk ... The Metro (voice) (as Joanna Zofia Bard Mikolajczyk)
Goran Marjanovic Goran Marjanovic ... Asylum Seeker (voice)
Magnus Skogsberg ... Roger's Boss (voice) (as Magnus Skogsberg Tear)
Lotta Bromé Lotta Bromé ... News Anchor (voice)
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Storyline

In the near future, oil reserves are nearly depleted and Europe is connected by series of underground tunnels. While navigating these tunnels, Roger hears voices, one in particular. Seeking a way to rid himself of the voice only leads Roger deeper into a bizarre conspiracy of control - mind and body. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Someone is listening to your thoughts


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Sweden | Denmark | Norway

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 2009 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Метропия See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

SEK 32,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

German word (die) Bahn means rail (way) in English. See more »

Goofs

Just before the Hello Kitty bomb explodes, Selma the Fish is still on Stefan's desk in her tank. Roger had taken both fish and tank a few minutes earlier when he left. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stockholms 20th International Film Festival (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Worth screening for the simple marriage of form and function it represents.
14 November 2010 | by scott-897-142923See all my reviews

One gets accustomed to certain styles of animation, not to mention certain themes. It's either for kids or adults, and it's either 2D or 3D. Of course there are exceptions but for the sake of simplicity, this Manichean duality dominates the market. It's rare that a film emerges that challenges these notions but Tarik Saleh's Metropia does that in fairly interesting ways. The style is an bit of a mash-up between 2 and 3 D - the frames are digitally composited from head shots that have been stretched and squashed then placed on smallish bodies creating creepy caricatures of the actors being photographed. The effect, visually, is of the puppetry in a Thunderbirds (or Supercar) episode as designed by Drew Friedman, with a heavy dose of dark Gilliam"esquire." despair. The animation is stiff, stylized and intentionally rough and jerky. Metropia is not super deep at it core, but it reminds me of the Heavy Metal comics I used to devour when I was a teenager, and that's not at all bad.

It's 2024, the world is running out of oil, and Europe has been connected via a huge subway system. The skies are always gray and it rains all the time. Roger, our protagonist, a bald, hydrocephalic, stoop-shouldered everyman, is afraid to take the metro because he has been hearing voices. He lives with his girlfriend who seems to always be on another planet. One morning, Roger is forced to take the metro because his bike (which he was using illegally anyway) has been destroyed. Sure enough, he begins to hear voices, a voice that has been seeping into his life away from the Metro, on top of everything. On that fateful subway ride, he sees Nina, the spitting image of the girl on his shampoo bottle - a shampoo called Dangst, if that gives any clue as to the relative depth of the film in question. On impulse - despite the urging of the voice in his head - Roger follows Nina, and discovers the world, not far beneath the surface, is not quite what it seems.

As I mentioned, the concepts are pretty thin. The requisite global corporate conspiracy, the rampant consumerism in a dysfunctional dystopia, and the soul-dead protagonist in a souls dead world, are requisite tropes for a film like this. Of course, They have been executed more competently, and in more depth, elsewhere, but the strength of Metropia is its visuals. It is animated for a reason. To that end, the spare, creepy animation style suits the film perfectly. By now, whiz-bang 3D animations are the norm, the rule, so it's at first disconcerting to see animation used so sparingly, minimally and strangely. But this is the point. The world has had all the life and energy sucked out of it, it's no wonder there's not much energy left for the inhabitants of said world. The familiar grey palette allows for even the most subdued tan coat and blonde hair of Nina's to stand out. This lack of movement is also a symbol of conformity. Literally, don't stand out.

Despite its familiar themes, Metropia is worth screening for the simple marriage of form and function it represents. It's a brave filmmaker, who, in this age of Avatar, chooses to make a quiet, simple, creepy film. Saleh, gives us a film, not breathtaking in it's scope, or necessarily ground breaking (except for what it doesn't strive to achieve: mindless spectacle) but calm, understated and worthy, for serious fans of animation, and the brand of sci if familiar to fans of Heavy Metal (the magazine, not the movie).


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