George Clooney has returned to directing with ‘ Midnight Sky ‘, a mix of post-apocalyptic survival and sci-fi adventure in space that has landed on Netflix to notable reviews.
The film shows us how the Earth has become an uninhabitable place due to climate change, but scientist Augustine Lofthouse (Clooney) continues to resist in an Arctic station, waiting to be able to contact a ship that has been on a mission for a long time. crucial for the future of humanity: to verify that the moon K-23 of Jupiter, which the same Lofthouse discovered, is capable of allowing human life. A second Earth? A second chance for human beings?
Based on the novel by Lily Brooks-Dalton (‘Good Morning, Midnight’), it is a film with the family drama streak of ‘Interstellar’ and the tense survival moments of Mads Mikkelsen’s ‘Arctic’, but also more of a surprise and certain details that, perhaps, you missed when you saw it for the first time. We discuss some curious aspects of Netflix production.
In ‘Midnight Sky’, the great narrative twist is found in Augustine’s offspring: his daughter is the astronaut played by Felicity Jones, Sully, but her real name is Iris, that is, the girl who has been accompanying the protagonist in their fight for survival. Thus, at a certain point, we understand that this girl was only a ghost that reminded her of the biggest mistake of her life, which was leaving her family for her career as a scientist. Surely many guessed this ‘twist’ of the story by pure logic, and perhaps others noticed her shoes: Iris is wearing the same as the girl we see in an Augustine ‘flashback’. Although the truth is that you have to be very careful to detect them.
Parallels between board games
‘Midnight Sky’ is actually two movies one: one takes place in space aboard a ship and the other on an abandoned and uninhabitable Earth. Therefore, it was to be expected that there would be some other parallelism between both scenarios. The one we have captured has to do with how board games can strengthen the relationship between two people. In space, we see Sully and Adewole ( David Oyelowo ) playing cards as they surely have done hundreds of times in those years together, and perhaps it was even the place where they fell in love with each other and formed their relationship. There is very tender complicity while they play, and this is repeated on dry land with Augustine and Iris, although not on the love plane, but on a family level. They also play and form a bond.
The enigma of the moon K-23
In George Clooney’s film, the characters orbit a Jupiter moon known as K-23: the protagonist waits for news of the ship sent to investigate the planet and find out if it was habitable for humans. And it is, although they may be a little late. Actually, as much as we immerse ourselves in its fiction without asking ourselves too many technical questions, we must know that K-23 does not exist and it would probably be impossible to inhabit it in real life. It is mentioned that there is volcanic activity, so the concentrations of toxic gases would not allow human life; it would be unbreathable. That implies that there would be no vegetation or drinking water either. Seeing Felicity Jones walking across its surface without a suit or anything is very fanciful.
A swim in the Arctic? Hardly
Among the many scientific errors of ‘Midnight Sky’ (which, let it be clear, do not prevent us from enjoying the film), there is one that has been commenting on users on networks. When Augustine and Iris are moving to another communication station, they have an accident and the protagonist is submerged in the glacial waters, trying to recover his medical equipment, which he ends up abandoning to avoid drowning. And it comes out of the water, like nothing when it should have died of hypothermia in a matter of minutes. The magic of cinema.
The story of Adam and Eve
At the end of ‘Midnight Sky’, the crew of the ship is divided into two groups: Mitchell ( Kyle Chandler ) and Sánchez ( Demián Bichir ) decide that they will return to Earth to find their relatives and try to save them, while Sully and Adewole turn around, on Augustine’s recommendation, to return to K-23 and found a new stage for humanity. A man and a woman alone on a new planet to repopulate. What does it sound like to us? Ah yes, it is the beginning of one of the most famous fiction books in history: the Bible. The truth is that what they have is a great responsibility (that’s why that awkward silence with which the film ends). Will there be apples on K-23?
Metaphors about cold, loneliness and distance
It is impossible to see Augustine Lofthouse surrounded by snow remembering the great mistakes of his life without thinking about the great metaphor that underlies this whole image: the cold of the Arctic seems to be a reflection of the attitude towards life that the character has had, always distant with his partner and with his daughter. The man with the heart of ice who now, in the last days of his life, recognizes everything he has done wrong and how he should have dedicated the same warmth to the relationships of his life that he now finds with the ghost of Iris.
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