Sunshine, 2007, UK/USA
Recommended by: Deepayan
This post contains mild spoilers regarding the tone of the movie.
This was a wonderful movie. The last thirty minutes are definitely the weakest moments of the movie, but it’s still an intense science fiction and psychological thriller. One of the things I love about science fiction is how it looks at humanity, and the human thought process. Sunshine definitely does this.
In Sunshine, a group of eight people are on a ship headed to the sun. They have a large weapon (or payload) with them, that is meant to revive the dying sun. They are close to the drop off point when they receive a distress beacon from the original ship sent to do this mission. When they go to rescue the potential inhabitants and take their weapon, disaster strikes in a number of ways.
The movie features an ensemble cast including Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne and Chris Evans. The movie also features Cliff Curtis, who also acted in Trauma; a show that I enjoyed…until it was cancelled. Curtis was by far my favourite actor on the show, so I was thrilled when he appeared in the movie.
One of the best aspects of the movie was the way it looked at death and sacrifice. Is killing someone or leaving them to die okay when all of humanity is at stake? Or does doing that remove one’s humanity, thus, negating the very thing you’re trying to save? It made me think about how I’d react under the same circumstances. I have a terrible fear of death, so it’s impossible to know how I’d react when I’m facing certain death. I’d like to think I’d sacrifice my life to save humanity. Another idea that is presented is the importance of human life when faced with destruction. In order to preserve human life, human life becomes secondary to a mission. It’s kind of a sad thought, but it also makes sense.
I did have a problem with the last half hour, as I stated earlier. The change is very abrupt. It goes from being a brilliant psychological thriller to a slasher movie. The intensity remained, but some of the heart didn’t. I think that the ending could have been achieved without resorting to slasher horror. I do realize that the idea of isolation and despair is being examined towards the end of the movie, but was it really necessary? I think it could have worked without it. In fact, I think the movie would have worked far better without it.
The special effects were so beautiful. I watched it in HD, and I’m very glad I did. The shots of the sun were amazingly realistic. The movie was a fairly low-budget movie, but Danny Boyle sure does a lot with a limited amount of money. This is Boyle’s first science fiction movie, but it still felt like much of his other work. I’ve noticed that he tends to examine human nature quite a bit. This movie was all about human nature and how we react in extreme circumstances. It was very thought-provoking, and I wish I’d watched it with someone just so I can have a discussion about it afterwards. I am sure I will watch it again someday, because it was such a joy to watch.
I actually really love science fiction. I haven’t watched enough of it over the course of this project. I love artwork that depicts science fiction or fantastical elements (which explains pretty much every computer wallpaper I’ve ever used), and I love science fiction literature and movies. Anyone have any recommendations?