The latest addition to Hollywood’s space Sci-Fi genre is Brad Pitt starrer Ad Astra . The film revolves around Roy, an astronaut who finds his escape from his worldly problems out in space only to find new demons out there. It is his journey that begins as a derivative of the consequences of his father’s actions and he gets pulled into the madness .
Pitt has adopted the “less is more formula” for this challenging role and the grace with which he has carried the role just shows the talent the actor has. He kept the avatar mellow for the most part. Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland are impressive in their limited presence so is Ruth Negga .
The film attempts to focus on the psychological traumas that astronauts go through when out in space due to isolation.
The motive of the makers of the film stays the same throughout the film i.e self-reflection and not exploration.However those going to watch the film wouldn’t necessarily accept this.
There is a voice over of Pitt throughout the film allowing the audience to understand what he is thinking. His character does not connect with the numerous characters who come throughout the film instead he keeps to himself, indicating that he doesn’t trust people. Pitt plays the lone soldier while other characters are merely temporary companions.
Set in some time in the future, the space Sci-Fi film incorporates futuristic elements gelled in with fiction when showing man has succeeded to colonize the Solar system.The creative settings and imagination is commendable, the grandeur of the sets and technology is very classy but all contribute to the build up of the film.
The climax on the other hand is somewhat low key, making the audiences who went in with hopes of some commercial appeal from the film, wonder whether it was worth the wait? Having said that the climax does serves it purpose to Roy who gets closure and comes out as a unsung hero
Space itself is a lonely, depressing backdrop and the hero is venturing into abyss all alone, so the over all mood of the film automatically translates into depressing and dry. There are scenes that had us on the edge of our seats with suspense. However the film gets dragged to a point that by the time it reaches the climax audiences are bored out of their minds and hoping to be swept off their feet with something mind blowing in order to compensate for the stretchy duration of the film.Unfortunately the climax lacks any excitement or element of surprise.
This is exactly the problem with the Ad Astra! The anticipation of what is about to come magnifies with every passing dull scene, as Roy gets more clarity at snail speed. By the time he reaches the climax of his journey the audiences are left disappointed .The film’s cinematography and visuals serve their purpose but are not out of this world.
The idea of self-reflection is good but not that appealing to the audience, who are rooting for Roy to find something substantial when he gets to his destination. The unnecessarily dragged screenplay adds on to making the film dull and one walking out of the cinema cannot help but feel bored to a limit to even appreciate the positives in the movie.
James Gray’s Ad Astra is not an entertainer but it does not mean it is a bad film. The film is not for everyone, you can appreciate it for what it is or else it is not for you!