Per Aspera Ad Astra

Per Aspera Ad Astra

               Per Aspera Ad Astra – four Latin words that I can easily associate with my college years. After all, I studied in Military Academy and this phrase was our motto. Through difficulties to stars. Now, after watching this movie, it turned into something a little bit more real, than just empty cliche.

This might contain spoilers to the plot – nothing extremely big but still -fair warning!

                In the near future, going to space is as common as going to the movies on Sunday with your family. Space industry is glowing, providing not only fun adventures, but also an alternative – oh yes, there are people living on Mars. Heck, some of them were born on that planet!

But we all know it can’t be all sunshine and rainbows. A surge of unknown source, shakes up the Solar System, wreaking havoc on its way. One of the victims is Major Roy McBride – son of a space legend – but also an honored astronaut. After surviving a cosmic fall, he finds out that surges are probably caused by something or someone from the Lima Project – an expedition to the “outer rim” in search for intelligent life; an expedition lead by his father – Clifford H. McBride. Dead father…? After the Lima ship reached Neptune, no one heard back from the crew – and it’s been 16 years! For Roy and the rest of the world they were dead. Young McBride is on a mission: try to communicate with his father.

                The movie starts as a confession of Major Roy McBride, it’s his personal journey inside his lonely mind, that results in facing suppressed fears. It ends as a conversation with long-lost father. Brad Pitt brilliantly played a lonely soul, completely stripped of emotions, with heart rate stable in every possible situation – including the space fall. What made him this way? Well, he admitted it – pushing aside all emotions and feelings was his choice. Solitude became his anchor, but deeper in space he goes, the heavier the anchor gets. You can only reach certain point in your loneliness, until you break – trust me. Roy’s breaking point was sending message to his father and being dismissed after second, more personal try. It was
a moment of realization that his father is alive and probably responsible for the surge. And suddenly his heart skipped a beat or two. He no longer was calm and methodical astronaut. Brad turned the act of letting go into art so sad and drastically overwhelming, you won’t shake out of it right away.

astra
Source: Pinterest

On the opposite, we have Tommy Lee Jones who plays Clifford McBride, the father. And in every piece of footage from the Lima Project spacecraft, you can see madness in his eyes. Madness combined with wilderness, complete focus on the mission – searching intelligent life in the vast space. But was he really a mad man? Or simply a true believer? In one scene there is an iconic National Geographic cover: “Is there anybody out there?” , with “YES! YES! YES” written all over.

Tension between Pitt and Jones on the screen makes you lean forward in your chair, like you’re next to them, quietly observing, holding your breath; it’s electrifying! And it hits you right in the heart – old McBride does not love his son. He left him on Earth willingly, he sacrificed his life for the mission. And Roy realizes that he made the same mistake – after near-death experience, he risked it all again for… For what? Thrill of it all? There is nobody out there. No one, but us. On Earth. Constantly waiting for each other…

                This movie shows that at the end of the day, we are alone in this wild, wild world; and all we’ve got is each other. And with that thought in mind, we must appreciate people we have around us more! There’s no need (and so far no opportunity) to go to Planet B. So go ahead and say thank you. Call your grandma and say “I missed you”. Be there, put down the phone when you’re talking with someone. You’re talking WITH someone (that’s my issue, and I’m working on it)! Praise your colleagues and high-five that kid you’re passing everyday on your way to work. Small gestures, but trust me – it will make us all a little bit less lonely.

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Source: Pinterest

                Ad Astra is space anti-utopia, with a hint of Musk’s* vision of the future. It’s a breathtaking journey into deep space, with big emotional luggage and exclusive sit in front row. Beautiful transformation of past that held you back in presence, to open up bright, full of good and healthy emotions future.

P.S.

Is that how space industry will look like in 5, 10, 15 years? Going to Mars will take 19 days? Wow. I am both impressed and scared.

* I LOVE ELON MUSK, I freaking love that guy. I’m reading his biography now, but there is just something about him. Intelligence, I think, that draws me to him like a ducking magnet. Is it weird?

2 thoughts on “Per Aspera Ad Astra

  1. So, I’d only like to add that for ke this movie shows two things:
    1. That people tend to search somewhere far for things they have close, right under their noses;
    2. That we like to mess things up (experiments & fighting for authority in this case) and even going to space will not change it – once we destroyed the Earth nothing will stop us from destroying some other parts of the Universe – is it worth it?

    Overall, this movie messed up my mind. Is it better to switch off your emotions and become inhumane or go with them and be burdened with everything to the point you lose your mind? There’s no easy answer to this question..

    Anyway! Cool review, hon! <3

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