Monday, 12 July 2010

Review: Moon

For me, the name Sam Rockwell has been synonymous with undeserved, minor roles in notable films such as The Assassination of Jesse James and a slightly larger part in Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men.

His most recent starring role is last years small budgeted, widely unknown Moon. Directed by Brit d├ębutante Duncan Jones (son of legend David Bowie), Moon follows the isolated tale of Sam, whom, in the future where Helium-3 is harvested on the Moon to aid Earth in its energy crisis, he is the sole employee on a lunar space station to oversee the mining of said resource. Paying homage to 1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Sam's only company is a computer AI by the name of GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey) whom assists his daily life.

The film is refreshing and derives from anything remotely mainstream, with Rockwell's strong performance carrying the simple narrative well. Essentially categorised as science fiction, which, after a particular plot revelation becomes more apparent early on, Moon tends to focus on a personal journey in regards to Sam's lonely existence and longing to be with him family back on Earth. A couple of twists aside, the narrative progresses slowly, but maintains interest even though it is far from a thrill a minute.

As straight forward as the plot appears, there is a compelling quality that is hard to identify. Maybe it's a combination of fine acting and use of a good script without the need for special effects, that you rarely see in modern sci-fi.

The character-driven script is, as mentioned,  excellently acted and is gripping at times. Moon delivers on many levels, it's gritty and dark, yet amusing, as well as heartfelt; evoking a genuine sense of concern towards the protagonist, which can be identified as arguably it's strongest aspect.

Considering it's essentially a one man cast and with a low budget, Moon offers something different in terms of a science fiction movie. It focuses more on the gruelling and, at times, desperate existence of Sam rather than the technological impacts of the future, which again, offers something a little different to audiences who are used to the same sci-fi ideas regurgitated over and over.

Admittedly, patience and an open mind is required here, but at a mere 97 minutes, the rewards are most certainly worthwhile.
Sources: Internet Movie DataBase
Photos: Google Images