‘Passengers’ takes audiences to new heights

By Danielle Silvia
Staff Writer

Balancing action, suspense, love and ambition, the science fiction thriller “Passengers” was one of the best films to debut in 2016.

Directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Jon Spaihts, the film begins with Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) awakening from a hibernation pod aboard a spaceship called the Avalon 90 years too early.

The passengers are supposed to wake up 120 years in the future and land on the planet Homestead II to begin their new lives. Jim realizes he is the only one who is awake, besides the robotic bartender, Arthur (Michael Sheen).

Jim survives a few months on his own until he begins to learn more about the other passengers on the Avalon. He is struck by Aurora Lane’s (Jennifer Lawrence) beauty as she sleeps in her hibernation pod.

He contemplates whether or not to wake her up, but eventually chooses to do so. Aurora, however, does not yet realize that Jim is the man who woke her up, sabotaging her future along with his, as they are still 89 years away from their promised future and will be dead by the time they land.

 

Jim and Aurora's solitary adventure through space give them ample time to emotionally connect with each other.
Jim and Aurora’s solitary adventure through space give them ample time to emotionally connect with each other. (AP Photo)

Aurora and Jim become fast friends, mostly because they are the only awake passengers on the Avalon. Their friendship soon transforms into a romantic relationship, and as their relationship blossoms, Jim struggles to hold onto his secret of opening her pod. As the drama ensues, the spaceship faces some mechanical struggles, threatening their lives even sooner than originally imagined.

What makes this film interesting is the balance of the elements of love, suspense and drama. The characters face choices each day that affect their future. There is also a light amount of humor sprinkled throughout the film to add to my overall love of the story.

As an adventurer, I found the special effects — especially the vivid images of outer space — truly beautiful. The scenes in which the characters venture into the great beyond created a sense of wonder and awe. Several scenes of asteroids and the sun showed the majestic and enticing depths of the galaxy the characters traveled through.

The acting was remarkable in this film, as well. The characters brilliantly portrayed a wide array of emotions like sadness, love, hatred as well as friendship. There were many moments that drew me into the film’s reality and made me feel immersed in the conflict.

By the end of the film, I, too, felt as if I had been on Aurora’s and Jim’s journey through space. I would highly recommend “Passengers” to anyone because there is something for everyone to reflect on and enjoy.

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