What would you find most thrilling about living on the moon? For me, it would be the idea of having other people around. In the movie Moon, the protagonist is all alone on the moon. He monitors technical matters there, accompanied only by a computer. Thankfully, his shift is coming to an end, and he’ll soon be heading home. Is this science fiction or drama? Well, it’s a bit of both. Let me explain why.
There seems to be nothing lonelier than being all by yourself on the moon, orbiting a populated planet. Even if it’s just for a week, it must be incredibly challenging. Sure, you can keep in touch with your family and friends, but you still wake up every morning (if that’s even a thing on the moon) all by yourself. Sam, the main character in this film, has had enough after nearly three years and is eager to reunite with his wife and daughter. Having watched his daughter grow up on a screen, he finds it quite difficult.
In the movie, Sam is portrayed by the talented Sam Rockwell, one of my favorite actors. It’s a delight to see him in every scene of this film. Duncan Jones, the director, happens to be David Bowie’s son. Jones had been longing to collaborate with Sam for a long time, so he specially made this film for him. Sam’s character is a charming, ordinary guy, and you can’t help but wish for him to return to Earth and lead a pleasant, normal life. But, of course, there’s a plot to follow.
As a human on the moon, you’re tremendously vulnerable—both physically and emotionally. Three years without human contact would undoubtedly take its toll. Towards the end of Sam’s service, things do go awry, and he must rely on human problem-solving skills. Thankfully, there’s also a computer on the moon, and Sam can seek help from the company he works for back on Earth.
The film’s compact setting and focus on Sam make it a very human experience. It leans more towards drama than hard science fiction. The physical vulnerability adds suspense, but the psychological vulnerability is equally gripping. The best part is, you don’t need to understand technical jargon to grasp the human aspect of the story.
A Calm Yet Thrilling Ride
Perhaps some introverted individuals are thinking, “Ah, how peaceful it would be, extra-remote working!” However, the film is still suspenseful. It’s not a serene romcom with a super-happy ending. As a viewer, you invest your emotions in Sam, making yourself open to the possibilities of things going terribly wrong.
But Moon is one of the best films I’ve seen. It’s like a ship-in-a-bottle, with few characters and little variation in location. Some may consider that a bit dull, but let me assure you, great films don’t always have to be grand and epic. Moon is a film that I highly recommend, even if you’re not a big fan of science fiction.