Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
Sam Bell has a three year contract to work for Lunar Industries. For the contract's entire duration, he is the sole employee based at their lunar station. His primary job responsibility is to harvest and periodically rocket back to Earth supplies of helium-3, the current clean and abundant fuel used on Earth. There is no direct communication link available between the lunar station and Earth, so his only direct real-time interaction is with GERTY, the intelligent computer whose function is to attend to his day to day needs. With such little human contact and all of it indirect, he feels that three years is far too long to be so isolated; he knows he is beginning to hallucinate as the end of his three years approaches. All he wants is to return to Earth to be with his wife Tess and their infant daughter Eve, who was born just prior to his leaving for this job. With two weeks to go, he gets into an accident at one of the mechanical harvesters and is rendered unconscious. Injured, he ... Written by
I was led to this movie, partly because of a sort of dissatisfaction from what we've known as science fiction due to Star-Treks, Star wars, terminators and transformers. On my visit to the local independent movie theater, I was only expecting something like Apollo 13 and I would've been satisfied with just that.
But the movie proved to be much more. It wasn't just the cinematography, few captivating shots of the moon surface, or the great acting performance. It was as if the movie took a while to ponder over philosophical questions that science and technology raise- something that every science fiction ought to do.
This work won't be unworthy of a comparison with Kubrick's- space odyssey only that it is probably not as visually stimulating as the latter. It does make good use of classical music like Kubrick's. I found the movie to be a bit more accessible than Tarkovsky's Solaris in that it is much more fluid and entertaining (Solaris was 3 hr long executed very slow albeit with a similar idea). Like Solaris, the protagonist's recollections of the life on earth eventually result in some mental instability, but the movie stays away from getting into long philosophical debates on human experience or our place on earth.
In general, do expect a lot more than space travel in this movie. To cite an example, the isolation of Sam made him more attached to memories of his life on earth. I don't recall many other movies that have expressed it so well that in isolation, nothing really means anything. Kudos to the director! Such existentialist reflections aside, there are many instances when the movie makes a statement about unethical corporate practices, evasive HR responses - almost to the extent 'Michael Clayton' did. I think that makes it more worthwhile to watch. Still despite all that, it avoids taking any stances on controversies that bother all of us in modern times. It puts us through the fears of the unknown, catastrophes of distrust and what arises from distrust and isolation and all of that.
Still, somehow the movie isn't really as dark as the script might make it sound. There is isolation, mistrust, schemes, confusion, curiosities and despair, but the human experience probably transcends the realism of its existence that was the idea I carried back from the movie theater.
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