After ‘District 9’ everyone was eager to see what director Neill Blomkamp did next, but ‘Elysium‘ garnered a mediocre response from movie goers and ‘Chappie‘ was a box office flop. Now, the director has opened up a bit about how he feels about ‘Chappie’. The worst part about this flop for Blomkamp is that he didn’t feel the movie fell apart in the editing room or elsewhere and really loved the movie that he delivered.
According to the director:
“Chappie was unbelievably painful for me. That was difficult on several levels. But the thing with Chappie was, it felt like it was extremely close to the film I had in my head. Up until the film came out, I felt like I had given my all, and that I’d tried my hardest to make the film I had in my head, and I felt like I achieved that.
It put me in an interesting place, where I was needing to decide how I felt, when I create a piece of artwork that I feel positive about, and then the audience really rejects it – what does that mean? That puts you in an incredibly interesting space. I’m not judging the film based on box office merits or pure Rotten Tomatoes scores. I’m doing it because I love it, and I’m basing how I feel about it on what it makes me feel.”
He also thought back on ‘Elysium’ which he says the final product “isn’t that good” in comparison and is still surprised that it had better success both financially and with the critics:
“We could go on for hours about Chappie and where it sits. But it definitely hurt several parts of my career, I think. Those are all secondary to just the repositioning myself as an artist and just thinking about that. I mean, Elysium, I didn’t feel that way. I feel like Elysium wasn’t actually that good. That’s the difference. I feel like I got it right with Chappie, and then when the audience turns on you, that puts you in a different place.”
As to why he loved the film and what he thought audiences didn’t enjoy:
“The main reason for Chappie existing in my mind is because it has the most farcical, weird, comic, non-serious pop-culture tone, that is almost mocking or making fun of the fact that it’s talking about the deepest things you can talk about. The fact that those two things exist in the same film is what the film is about. Because that’s what the experience of life is about. It’s an unknowable question, and no one’s going to answer it for you.
So it’s almost a grand joke, in a sense. That was the main thing. People confuse that by saying the film was tonally all over the map. And it’s because they couldn’t comprehend that the tone was existing as one, united thing; it was saying, “Here’s the most important thing you can talk about, wrapped up in a farcical giant joke that looks like we’re all having a big laugh.” And that was the point. Because that’s how I view life in general.”
While I didn’t hate the film, I didn’t enjoy it and apparently was just as confused as most audiences.
Did you enjoy ‘Chappie’ and feel that Blomkamp hit the mark with the film? Share your thoughts below!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!