Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fading Sunshine and a Disturbed Mind

Rating: 4 out of 5Sunshine is a film that stays with you. Flawed, certainly. But it is forgiven much because it dares to stare into the abyss.

Danny Boyle’s epic film is ostensibly about a last-ditch mission to save Earth by rejuvenating a failing Sun — a manned ship, the Icarus II, is to guide a huge payload directly into the heart of our sun. But ultimately it’s about the huge existential challenge of facing our fragile existence in the vastness of the Universe. A journey of a mere eight light-seconds, it nonetheless takes the crew to the edge of insanity. And our galaxy, one of some 20 million, is over 60,000 light-years across.

The abyss as experienced by the crew is a vast fireball, over 300,000 times the size of Earth, burning into the psyche. But also being faced is the consequence of failure: environmental catastrophe and mass extinction — humankind included.

Where 2001: A Space Odyssey (a film it borrows from heavily) envisions awe-inspiring new horizons, Sunshine contemplates awful oblivion. It is a film for our time.

Links: Review by Jake Wilson, The Age

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