Passengers, the big movie that starts off Hollywood fanfare for movie buffs in India at the start of 2017, is a very exciting proposition. It has two best-selling and very popular leads in Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, cast opposite each other for the first time. It is directed by Morten Tyldum, known for his Academy Award-nominated work in the 2014 movie, The Imitation Game.
The film tells the story of a man who wakes up 90 years sooner from an induced hibernation on board a spaceship bound for a new planet. After living all alone for a year and trying every possible way to go back to hibernation, Jim (Chris Pratt) finally decides to wake up fellow passenger Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), whom he had been admiring for months. Aurora falls in love with Jim only to find out that he intentionally woke her up from hibernation. Shattered and heartbroken, she distances herself from him and Jim starts living in the guilt. The romance of the two takes a back seat when Captain of the ship wakes up too and finds out that the ship is about to blow off in space. Now it’s upon Jim and Aurora to keep their personal grievance aside and save the 5000 lives sleeping on the ship.
The concept is fresh, the actors are brilliant but the film still fails to strike the right chord. It’s neither a saga romance nor a thrilling experience. The film is too smooth, rather on the edge of being boring. The plotline is stretched and plot holes are visible throughout. One hour into the film and you can sense that the makers went haywire with the story only to make it a mushy romance.
The vulnerability of two stranded passengers with no hope of a new life is missing. Another Hollywood space story, Gravity, strived only on the vulnerability of its character, Passengers could’ve taken a note or two. The film scores averagely on everything. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence fail to create magic with their chemistry and at times situations look forced which is very unlike these A-list actors.
The interior of the spaceship and the technology is undoubtedly intriguing but it offers nothing new to what we’ve already seen in other sic-fi films.
Although, if we keep aside the heavy expectations from a space drama starring big Hollywood actors, Passengers makes for a good romantic watch. A man and a woman bound by their helplessness and actually being the last man and woman in each other’s life is something interesting to watch.
However, the film leaves you with nothing too great and thus becomes an underwhelming space ride with a romance makers failed to tap properly. The film had already done decent business in the west and being the first release of the year in India, it is expected to make a good profit.
The plotline had a lot of potential to become an epic space saga but instead of making the film a one-of-its-kind space-love story, the makers turned it into a predictable, ‘I-am-there-for-you’ romantic adventure. Not done Morten Tyldum.
Go for Passengers with no expectations and you might even like the film but I’d suggest you wait for it to air on TV.
My Rating: 2/5