”Passengers”: Three Acts without a Play (Topic)

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”Passengers”: Three Acts without a Play

Image In 2011, a wonderful thriller "The Bounty Hunters" was released in Norway, which pleasantly resembled the handwriting of early Danny Boyle. In 2014, the historical drama "The Imitation Game" was created in Britain, which pleased both with the script and the direction. And now the new work of the director Morten Tildum - "Passengers" is underway in cinemas. This time he decided to act out a romantic melodrama with elements of a disaster in outer space.

The film is set aboard the interplanetary spacecraft Avalon , which takes a 120-year journey from Earth to a planet codenamed Native Abode 2 . The spaceship falls into a small asteroid field, which, although it does not cause visible damage to the aircraft, incapacitates one cryogenic sleep capsule. Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), peacefully resting in it before the collision, wakes up with the confidence that the path is almost overcome, and in four months he will be at his destination. Jim , of course, is not aware of the asteroid field. As well as the fact that out of five thousand passengers, he is the only one who woke up. But the worst thing is that the awakening happened ninety years ahead of schedule. Unable to find a way to fix his capsule and not wanting to be confined to the society of the android bartender Arthur (Michael Sheen), Preston decides to wake up the writer Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence ), of course, without telling her that he did it on purpose. Meanwhile, the ship's computer system is increasingly malfunctioning ...


Feast in time of plague, love aboard the Titanic and other considerations on the balance of a joyful present and an uncompromising future have long been the norm for modern cinema. Sometimes there are revelations-verdicts like "Melancholy", but Lars von Trier is the only one. Initially, “Passengers” also had every chance to become a powerful statement on topical topics - loneliness and hopelessness, decision-making regarding the fate of another person, confrontation between technology and space. The director's candidacy in the person of Oscar nominee Morten Tildum inspired confidence. The dramaturgy of John Spates was included in the "Black List" of the best unrealized scripts of the year, and the presence of the fashionable and talented Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence on board promised,

At first, his synopsis, and then the trailers, were set up exclusively in a positive way. The authors of the tape promised a dynamically developing story with an exciting plot and attractive characters, between whom a spark had to run. The enchanting and full of obscurity, chosen as the scene of action, also attracted attention. In short, the project claimed to be a wonderful romantic sai-fai.

However, the viewer has repeatedly been convinced that sometimes the trailer and the final result are not just different, but generally at different poles. Of course, sometimes it happens that after watching the commercials you don't really expect a picture, and then you leave the cinema in a state of absolute delight, as it was, for example, with the comedy thriller "Kingsman". Unfortunately, in the overwhelming majority of cases, promotional materials promise a beautiful wrapper, a pleasant filling and a long aftertaste, but at best, only the wrapper does not fail.


In visual terms, of course, you can't find fault with "Passengers" . The graphics are up-to-date, the design and interior decoration of the spacecraft are beyond praise. Although, if the film with a budget of $ 110 million also pumped up special effects, the seats in the cinemas would be empty by the middle of the show. After all, a demanding viewer constantly needs more, and the picture is no exception in this regard. From year to year it becomes more detailed and at the same time natural. If it is impossible to understand where the graphics end and the frames without it begin, then thumbs up. So, according to Konstantin Sergeevich, I believe.

ImageBut if you demand more than just beautiful actors, high-quality visuals and handpicked with music for each scene, the film will start, if not a fever, then concretely shake, like " Avalon " at the moment of collision with an asteroid field. The first part of the tape is Chris Pratt , whose anxiety contrasts sharply with the logical and emotionless computer system of the ship. Tildum heightens the situation, making the hero lonely among the five thousand other sleeping passengers, despite the presence of interlocutors in the form of applications and android robots. And one could feel sympathy for the history of this forced loneliness, if not for the author's regular jokes, which significantly reduce stress. And Pratt as an actor is associated primarily with self-confident, not very serious characters - it's time to think about changing roles.

Perhaps the authors had in mind "Outcast" with the great Tom Hanks, but the viewer is aware (thanks to detailed advertising) that Jennifer Lawrence will wake up soon. Having let go of his beard, trying all the ways to change something and going over many topics for conversation with the bartender Arthur , Jim decides to wake up the girl out of sympathy for the unfortunate one. It turns out a kind of sleeping beauty, on the contrary - there is a crystal coffin (cryogenic capsule) and a dragon that is always on the alert (life support system), but no, there is a beautiful prince who will wake you up with a kiss. True, in this particular case - not quite a prince, not quite beautiful and far from a kiss. And he woke up not for the sake of her happiness, but as a means of getting rid of loneliness.


After the awakening of Aurora , the film briefly takes on a second wind. Tildum painstakingly sculpts lovers out of his characters, who are so different that they would never have met in life, let alone a relationship. But since the current situation is close to extreme, there is still a conditionally forced love between them. Although we remember that even Jan de Bont in "Speed" spoke about the fragility of relationships that arise in extreme situations.

The conflict in the second part has been somewhere in the background for a long time. The viewer is again shown a beautiful spaceship, stars inside and stars outside. Nice, but in some places far-fetched, and in some places the film generally contradicts the physics textbook for the fifth grade. And the problem appears as if out of nowhere - the princess is unhappy with the prince and everything connected with him, and since almost everything is connected with him on this ship, she has almost no reason to rejoice. Lawrence knows how to make a displeased, upset expression and call it brooding. It seems that lately it has been wandering with her everywhere.


Meanwhile, the final part of the film raises a lot of questions, and far from those that the authors wanted to push the viewer to. Instead of reflections on ethical and social topics - bewilderment in the field of the laws of physics, logic and standards of drama. The action, conceived by the authors, starts quickly and ends just as quickly. It is only enough to put everything upside down, but not leave a trace of the view. And the heroes trying to save the crew may have been conceived as a kind of Adam and Eve , but for an unambiguous association with the progenitors, the picture as a whole, and in particular, lacks balance and a firm director's hand ... It turned out only Pratt and Lawrence with very worried faces.


In short, the trailers have once again deceived. Unfortunately, this is not at all the case when"glad to be deceived myself". The impulse of Morten Tildum to shoot space romance is undoubtedly noble - films where a love story unfolds on a spaceship are now rarely released. But with all their initial data, the authors lacked either an internal drive, or a simple faith in the events they invented. As a result, Tildum released a product significantly below the level that he himself had demonstrated earlier. Well, even in the films of talented directors, not very successful films should flicker - as exceptions that prove the rules. The main thing is that there are not too many such exceptions.

The Topic of Article: ”Passengers”: Three Acts without a Play.
Author: Jake Pinkman