Monday, 31 May 2021

Stowaway (2021)

This was an interesting idea and film created by Joe Penna (Arctic) which I watched with thoughts of the excellent 'The Martian' as we considered Mars! Unlike the latter, we never actually see Mars the planet in this outing but rather the drama is all collected within the five month journey trying to get there.

There's a crew of three heading for Mars, sometime in the future (clearly), are going about their business when suddenly a fourth person falls out of the ceiling, unconscious. When he comes round, he has no recollection of what happened and how he was there, but he was a part of the ground-crew working on the ship before take-off. During his fall, he not only breaks the arm of the Commander of the mission but also knackers one of the oxygen backup supplies.

We get to know the crew members - Marina, David and Zoe as they talk about a solution to the problem of Michael's appearance and the impact on their now depleted oxygen supply. Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Knives Out, Unlocked), Anna Kendrick and Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) share their space and resources for the time being with Shamier Anderson (Goliath) playing Michael. As you might imagine, it's all fairly claustrophobic and (relatively) low-budget as the whole film is shot in and around the craft.

This is the point at which they decide, having tried really hard to work out various solutions, that if they all four stay on the ship, they will all die before they get to Mars. They can't go back, either. So the big moral question is posed about what they're going to do. If there's three of them, they will survive. The tension begins to rise as the dilemma throws itself around between them which all four of the actors approach in a convincing manner.

There's more tension in store for the audience as there's a critical space-walk which needs to be executed with the stakes growing as a solar-storm approaches. It's all anxiety for the characters, stress for the audience and at one or two points I was on the edge of my seat!

It's a very well shot film, thoughtful and considered, whilst also taking in convincing views of space, the planets and the out/inside of their craft and associated equipment. Well worth a look and available now on Netflix UK.

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