City of Ember (2008)

City of Ember is a 2008 science fiction/fantasy film based on the first novel in the Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau. "The Builders" had designed the underground city for its inhabitants to survive for 200 years. The Builders gave the first mayor of the city a locked box to be passed down to the next mayor. The box was set to open after two hundred years but forty-seven years before the box was set to open, the mayor dies suddenly and the box was left forgotten. For over 200 hundred years, the citizens of Ember have been living underground. Their supplies are running low and the massive generator providing light and power to the city is failing. With the increased number of blackouts, the citizens are getting worried.

All graduating students of Ember would undergo 'Assignment Day'. In the said event, the Mayor of the city will pick out by lottery what occupations would the students get. Lina Mayfleet (Saoirse Ronan) dreamed all her life to be a messenger, but got assigned to work in the pipeworks instead. She swapped professions with Doon Harrow (Harry Treadaway). Lina comes home to find her grandmother searching for something in the closet, which turns out to be the forgotten box. Lina resolved to decipher the meaning of the contents of the box and eventually, enlists' Doon's help. Lina and Doon soon realized that the information inside the box are  set of instructions on how to return to the surface.

I haven't read the books in the Ember series, but I remember wanting to after watching this film (and years after, I still haven't). The plot is very interesting and the movie provided exciting scenes one after the other. It's family friendly but still thought provoking all the same. It screams for a sequel. It's a shame that City of Ember did miserably at the box office, a sequel is entirely out of question.

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