Monday, July 16, 2007

Dreaming of the Surface of the Sun

**contains spoilers for Sunshine, so, if you don't wanna ruin the movie, then, don't read.**

Clliff Curtis as Searle in the viewing room of the Icarus. Photo from Fox Searchlight Pictures.

With hints of Space Odessey: 2001, director Danny Boyle masterfully tells and shows the story in Sunshine of the mission of Icarus II, the space crew sent to save the dying Sun by creating another star within it. Seven years prior, the first crew of Icarus I failed to do so.

He reluctantly uses to create effects that he himself cannot, but as he tells the New York Times, he tries his best to stick to real images as possible. He didn't want to create a fantastically world—he is simply depicting space. And he does, wonderfully. What stands out about Sunshine isn't really the plot, it is how the story is told,

Icarus II finds the lost Icarus I on Mercury. The crew decides to see what is left and what could be saved. On board, they find the captain's, Pinbacker (Mark Strong) last recording. With no more hope, Pinbacker rants about death, control of death and God through jumpy, digitized views where we are shown glimpses of his horridly disfigured face. Then Harvey (Troy Garity), second-in-command of Icarus II, stumbles upon their bodies, slumped over one another in front of the filter.

They died basking in the Sun.

Boyle depicts this beautifully and quickly—their bodies are gray silhouettes against swirling gray dust. Their deaths are explained by a quick glimpse at the darkly framed filter, its center pure white.

Before this, Icarus II's captain, Kaneda (Hiroyuki Sanada), clad in a glittery gold spacesuit, is engulfed by the sheer strength of the Sun's rays while trying to fix damaged Searle (Cliff Curtis) begs him to describe what it is like, staring and being in the sun, but he does not answer. He just allows himself to be consumed by its heat and then it is over. The music emphasizes this moment even further, the steady loud thudding beats of drums race both hearts and minds.

In fact, Boyle and Underworld create a beautifully epic soundtrack, complete with reverberated sounds and sweeping strings mixed with the delicate yet strong stepping notes of piano.

Searle tells Capa (Cillian Murphy) "We're only stardust," and with Sunshine, Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland, offers a gorgeous new insight into a possible future.

Cillian Murphy, as Capa, worked well as the hopeful and ideal-in-a-twisted-way physicist on the Icarus with his brilliant eyes, scraggly long hair, hints of his Irish accent and of course, his acting. Photo from Fox Searchlight Pictures.

No comments: