The concept in this film is intriguing on many levels and begs the question, what would you do?
Having woken prematurely from hyper sleep with the prospect of facing the rest of his life, or in this case 90 years alone on a spaceship save for other sleeping humans, the leading man Jim, (Chris Pratt), has his fate sealed. After a year of fending for himself out of sheer desperation, he sees the flight manifest and chooses to wake up another passenger who happens to be the stunning Aurora, (Jennifer Lawrence ), so he can selfishly have a companion and avoid living in solitude. This may been seen to have stalking and controlling undertones.
The deeper issues were not explored and the film is worse for it, but it does leave us wondering whether the woman he awakens could form a healthy bond with him for the rest of her life and whether Jim and Aurora’s falling in love is genuine or was it somehow inevitable given the fact that, they are the only two people awake. Would they have fallen in love outside of the scenario they are in, given their differences? (Jim is a mechanic and Aurora is a writer.) Nonetheless he takes a gamble and one that pays off. But questions surrounding personality clashes, compatibility and the assumption that she was heterosexual are not explored. Her choices were removed the moment he robbed her of her intended life. She challenges him on this, of course, but soon acquiesces – forced to bond with the only other conscious person on board. Free will was not a luxury she could afford.
But what if the roles were reversed? Would a woman choose to wake a man at all or would she choose another woman to wake up instead? Or why stop at that? Would she choose a cluster of people to wake up to form a community? Arguably from a female perspective a woman may think longer and harder before effectively robbing another person of their life since she herself knows the value of creating life and may feel it immoral to play ‘god’.
“There’s a reason they woke up” says the poster’s log line, positioning this film as the ultimate romance and urging us to go along with the idea that taking away a woman’s choices will not only result in her loving you, but actually is love.
Jennifer Lawrence’s line “A friend once said, “You can’t get so hung up on where you’d rather be that you forget to make the most of where you are.” We got lost along the way. But we found each other. And we made a life. A beautiful life. Together.
In reality they didn’t ‘find’ each other they were forced to live with one another. There are a number of interesting ways this film could have gone but the script opts for convention. More importantly, the movie doesn’t find a convincing way to deal with the romance’s creepy undertones.