Sunshine (2007)

“A Thought-Provoking and Hard-Hitting Look at Humanity” 10/10

 

In 2057, the sun is dying and the planet is in jeopardy, and so a team of astronauts make a second attempt at a dangerous mission to revive the sun.  Facing nothing but adversity along the way the team must overcome all the odds as they are humanity’s last hope for survival.

 

I still feel a little in shock at this film.  It takes such an honest, hard-hitting look at humanity, placing the viewer straight into the difficult lives of the astronauts and constantly throwing a series of increasingly tough decisions and scenarios – it makes you question every decision they make, and then question yourself.  I’ve never thought more seriously about the idea of sacrifice for the greater good than whilst being put into the shoes of the characters.  Don’t be put off by this though – it’s thought-provoking only so long as you let it be.  Knowing this was a Danny Boyle film I had high hopes for the directorial styling of this film and it lived up to my expectations.  He manages to simultaneously create the feeling of confinement and eternal empty space, and throws in some really trippy snapshot scenes that give a terrifying edge of madness as the film progresses.  Visually it is very convincing (and apparently also factually as the film’s science advisor was Dr Brian Cox), in particular the CGI shots of the sun, which is interestingly portrayed both astronomically and more religiously, a nice nod to the Greek myth of Icarus (who flew too close to the sun), that lends its name to the space shuttle.

 

The casting is pretty strong which is necessary to clash each of these flawed characters and drive their individual motivations on the mission.  The most notable performances came from Cillian Murphy, the determined but hesitant hero; Chris Evans, the tough and hard-hitting voice of reason (a somewhat unfamiliar role to him but one that he carries off impeccably, as I usually find with his work); and Rose Byrne, the compassionate and slightly vulnerable one who offers a last-ditch attempt to prove that humanity isn’t completely doomed to selfishness.  However the performances from the other actors (Michelle Yeoh, Troy Garity, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong and Cliff Curtis) all brought that little something different to each argument and scenario that made you think.

 

Sunshine is a thought-provoking and hard-hitting look at humanity that will have you questioning yourself about how you would make decisions in a life or death situation to save a world that is not so unrealistic from what the future could be like.  This one definitely stays with you long after it’s over.

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3 thoughts on “Sunshine (2007)

  1. Hi Claire. You are right to praise this film. In the genre of ‘thoughtful’ space dramas, it doesn’t get much better than this. I am not as a much a fan of Mr Boyle as you (didn’t like ‘Slumdog’, and thought that ‘127 Hours’ was tedious and somewhat pointless) but he got this one right.
    I actually know Benny Wong from my time in London, so will not pass up a chance to boost him as an underused and first-rate actor.
    I also write articles for a film website (self-promotion here) and on that site, the founder wrote this;
    http://curnblog.com/2013/02/11/sunshine-a-valentines-day-letter-to-a-film-that-deserves-more-love/ in 2013. It will interest you, as you like this film so much.
    Best wishes, and well done with a great review. Pete.

    • Thank you! That’s a very interesting piece of writing, it’s good to see that there are others who love this film. I think it’s seriously underrated so I’m glad to hear you thought it was as worthy as I did!

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