Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sunshine Review

My daughter asks a lot of questions, as I'm sure most first graders do. What is surprising though is that for every nine ridiculously cute nonsensical queries like "Do cows wear pants?" or "Can we go to the moon tomorrow?", one will seemingly pop up out of nowhere that is shockingly profound. 

Recently, she was sitting playing with her toys, lost in her own thoughts and imagination, when she asked my wife and I "Who was the first person ever?". After getting her to elaborate further to ensure we understood the path she was taking, yes, at the age of seven she had become curious about the dawn of mankind. After the initial shock and giving the best boiled down answer I could come up with, essentially saying no one knows because it was so long ago, her follow up question practically made my jaw hit the floor. "How could there be a person without a mommy and daddy?" she asked. 

Next thing you know, we are at the library trying to find the most age appropriate books that focus on the topic of evolution. I shit you not.

That night, I went through the typical inner debate and subsequent turmoil that comes with the crucial decision of what to watch, and as I glanced at the many Blu-ray options on the wall I noticed Sunshine and thought of the questions poised by my young one only hours earlier. No, the film doesn't thematically connect to evolution or cover the birth of the human race, quite the opposite actually. Sunshine tells the story of a team of astronauts and scientists on a mission to reignite the sun and save humanity from extinction, but along the way some fascinating philosophical concepts are touched on that came flooding back with the way she worded her question for us.

For much of the running time, Sunshine was headed towards becoming an absolute science fiction gem, the kind of chilling and hypnotic journey into deep space that always appeals to me. Director Danny Boyle has such a gift for the craft and it shows, as not only is the entire film well made, but certain specific sequences manage to give me goosebumps no matter how many times I see them (although John Murphy's Adagio in D Minor deserves a ton of credit for the haunting nature of one in particular). 

Unfortunately, and I am sure if you have read other reviews or seen the film yourself this will be a familiar complaint, the third act is misguided and a shame considering how amazing the rest of the movie is. I actually love the concept behind what occurs, just not the way it was executed, as a work that was patient and thought provoking suddenly devolves into essentially a mediocre slasher movie. Still, what works throughout Sunshine does so gloriously, and because of this I still highly recommend the film overall despite the really troubling turn it takes.

"Who was the first person ever?" she asks.

What would it be like to be the last? Just one man remaining, alone with God. 


No comments:

Post a Comment