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Talking to the Moon

A Throw Back Thursday post: Sunshine


Quote of the day: What power would Hell have if those imprisoned there were not able to dream of Heaven? ~Neil Gaiman, Sandman, a Hope In Hell
Song of the day: “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by K.T. Tunstall
State of mind: scrambled
Date: August 1, 2007 (Mom’s B-day!)

The first time I fell in love, if one were to ask me what it was like I would have said it felt like standing in sunlight. It’s an all-encompassing kind of thing. Flows over and around you without beginning or end. Untouchable. Unphysical. Incomprehensible. But while you are in it, it makes perfect sense. I’ve been in love a few times. Not many. But even in those times when I have been head over heels for someone, despite the all-encompassing sunlight feeling, there has always been a part- a smidgen of me- that has remained in shadow. Remained logical and practical. 

That pretty much also describes how it was watching Sunshine this past Sunday. (Did you see that coming? A movie review?) I went and saw the hardly advertised movie at the mall. It was rainy so the movie seemed the perfect antidote. 

It mostly was. I’d say about 90%. It’s that annoying 10% that irked my practical side that might keep this movie from my DVD collection when it’s finally released for home viewing. But despite its flaws, the movie makes you think. About the intangibles in life, like love, sacrifice, what it means to be human, and matters of will… 

It is a beautiful film. I could compare it to so many others that take place in the vastness of space, such as 2001, Solaris, and Event Horizon, but I won’t. I will say that the movie pays homage to them. But it also deftly avoids the clichés that have been created by those earlier films. They start down the path to “been there, done that” but then take a sharp turn back into realism, and I found that as refreshing as a few hours in the “Earth Room”- (which is a nifty bit of homage to Star Trek’s holodecks.)

The mistakes made by the characters are real mistakes. The choices they make are based on what is practical and logical rather than plot… although one choice is the plot. And the ship is fantastic without being perfect. No ultra white walls and mod furniture. The design mirrors that of many theoretical ships I’ve read about in Ad Astra or Scientific American. They have a garden for air and food. The ship has to rotate to give them gravity. It’s both beautiful and practical. However, some idiot named it Icarus. 

Unlike a lot of other movies that I could (but won’t) compare this movie too- such as Deep Impact, The Core, Armageddon- this movie starts after both the problem and a solution have been developed for whatever is threatening our existence. In this movie, it’s a dying sun. The crew’s mission is to deliver a bomb that was designed to restart the sun and end the solar winter that has enveloped the Earth. Except for one brief scene, we never see the Earth or how everyone is living because it isn’t really about that. It’s about how far one is willing to go to save a world one might never see again. But how the movie demonstrates that is with the unbelievable, annoying 10%. Unfortunately that 10% is also a huge spoiler so I can’t complain about it sufficiently without giving anything away. However, I will say that even though this part of the movie perplexed me, it is necessary. I’ve tried to think of how they could have carried off the message of the movie without it and am coming up blank. Maybe that means I’m just as qualified to write movies as anyone since it seems they couldn’t come up with another way either. Or maybe it means they were so in love with the idea that they couldn’t see it’s flaws. Sometimes standing in sunlight can also make you blind.