6.0/10
98
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Grounded (2011)

| Animation, Short, Drama
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1:06 | Trailer
One astronaut's journey through space and life ends on a hostile exosolar planet. Grounded is a metaphorical account of the experience, inviting unique interpretation and reflection by the ... See full summary »

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Storyline

One astronaut's journey through space and life ends on a hostile exosolar planet. Grounded is a metaphorical account of the experience, inviting unique interpretation and reflection by the viewer. Themes of aging, inheritance, paternal approval, cyclic trajectories, and behaviors passed on through generations are explored against an ethereal backdrop. Written by Anonymous

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Offers a lot more than effects but just left me behind as a viewer, ironically leaving me only the effects to appreciate
4 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When it opens with a great effects shot of a spaceship out of control flying across the screen towards an explosion, before then panning down to the surface to see the result, I did immediately assume we were in for another short film where the ability to be good with computer driven visual effects will not necessarily play out that the film is good with anything else. I have seen several very empty shorts where technically what was done with the effects was very impressive but really the film had nothing else whatsoever. While I do not think Grounded works as a whole, I have to totally give it credit for never once just being all about the visual effects.

On the contrary what Margo and Meeker appear to be going for here is a short film version of the end of 2001 – not so much in terms of its themes but more in regard to the way it can be bewildering, appears to hold meaning but is not going to give that up easily. So in the film our astronaut falls to the surface of the planet where it transpires that he has already fallen to his death. As he considers this, he falls again out of the sky, hitting and killing himself. So far so weird, but it doesn't stop as we get an old man tending to grass when the dead astronaut turns up again, wearing clothes similar to the older man. All of this appears to offer something but for the life of me (and several viewings) I could not connect to the themes it was trying to present.

It is ironic that it is so far from being "all about the effects" that actually it went so far that it left me behind; perhaps I am not as smart as other viewers, so me not getting it doesn't mean others won't, but I did feel like it was all too deliberately obtuse and while the makers understood the film, they didn't do enough to bring the viewer on and help them to, if not understand, then at least have some context for the short.


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