Spaceman review on Netflix: Slow and sad sci-fi

It's really hard to relate to alien creatures because they're so weird. The highest achieved people have different cultures, biology, and belief systems that make them different from humans, and therefore difficult to understand. The alien in the Netflix movie astronaut One recent example: a giant spider with wriggling claws, a disturbing human mouth, the soothing voice of Paul Dano, and the ability to experience time non-linearly. However, this strange creature is also very relatable. He is curious, perceptive, and leans toward comforts to relieve stress. It's definitely scary, but I kind of like it. And with Adam Sandler remarkably restrained in the role of a burnt-out astronaut, his presence makes for some sad, anodyne sci-fi.

The film is directed by Johan Renck and is based on the novel Bohemia Spaceman By Jaroslav Kalvar, astronaut It follows a Czech astronaut named Jakub (Sandler) on a solo mission to explore a strange phenomenon called the Chopra Cloud somewhere near Jupiter. Jacob has few people to talk to — his supervisor Peter (Kunal Nayyar) is always in his ear to keep things on track, and he's able to video chat with his wife Lenka (Carey Mulligan) thanks to a device that looks like an '80s arcade cabinet — but he's isolated. Physically. Things get worse as calls with Lenka become increasingly rare. This leads to spending a lot of time alone in the quiet of space and reflection.

And then, suddenly, he wasn't alone anymore. Too early astronaut, Jacob is joined by a mysterious alien who is eventually named Hanus (Dano). The giant spider is fascinated by humans and spends an indefinite amount of time learning our history, language, and customs. But he is especially attracted to Jacob: as a solo explorer, Hanus feels drawn to the lonely spaceman. Once Jacob gets over the shock of a giant talking spider suddenly appearing in his empty world, the two quickly connect.

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Hanos has the ability to see Jacob's thoughts and memories, and uses this ability to explore his past but mostly to understand his deteriorating relationship with Linka. It's a little Eternal sunshine of the spotless mindexcept that Hanus takes on a role similar to that of a therapist: from his detached perspective, he is able to use details from Jacob's life to figure out how and why things turned out the way they did and then be brutally honest about his findings. astronaut The story begins as a sweet but quirky story about friends but eventually turns into a raw exploration of loneliness and coming to terms with our personal failings.

Since most of the film takes place with two characters within the confines of a small spaceship, the performances are a big reason why the film works so well. Sandler seems a little strange at first — he kind of has a Czech accent but he also doesn't — but he shows a new side of himself here, one that's not a complete idiot or a bundle of frayed nerves. He is quiet and reserved, and has the weary look of someone who is suffering both mentally and physically. Dano, meanwhile, is alternately cold and warm, with a curious point of view (his race feels no guilt, for example) that sometimes becomes sentimental. (It turns out that Nutella tastes a lot like certain larvae from his home world.) The two play well: Jacob wants to ignore the truth, while Hanus can't stop bringing it to the surface.

Ultimately, the story returns to the basic science fiction mystery, and astronaut He does a very good job of tying these threads together in a way that feels natural and ends on a hopeful note, without turning into a cliched happy ending. It's sad, yes, but in a cathartic way – and it almost makes you want to hug a talking spider. Even if Hanos was never down for it.

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astronaut It's now streaming on Netflix.

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