Monday Movie: Sunshine
Every Monday, we’ll recommend a movie. It could be a classic, an overlooked recent treasure, an unfairly maligned personal favorite or whatever the hell we feel like.
Director Danny Boyle describes the film as being about: a ship, a crew, and a signal. The sun is dying. So a group of eight scientists and astronauts fly a space ship called Icarus 2 to the sun to drop an atomic bomb the size of Manhattan Island into it, hoping to reignite it and save the earth from atomic winter. A fantastic cast led by Cillian Murphy rocket towards the sun with the Danny Boyle flair we’ve seen in 28 Days Later and The Beach. I won’t spoil anything, but I want to briefly address the ending. The third act reveal is usually the dividing point for audience about Sunshine. It is a pretty significant twist, and, admittedly, it changes the tone of the film dramatically. A secret part of me still wants to see the movie without the reveal, but that is not the film Boyle made. If you pick up the film on DVD or Blu-ray, the commentary tracks by Boyle and physicist Brian Cox, nerdy though they may be, really help fill in the gaps. And while you’re at it, play it loud – sound plays a big role in the film. Sunshine is very much a Boyle film, in its visual style and story structure, and while mileage may vary amongst other viewers, its propulsive energy places it in a specific sort of genre I really respond to. I call it a “pressure cooker” film, where a group of people are put under tremendous pressure and you see how they react. It is simultaneously fascinating and frustrating, but has proved rewarding over repeat viewings.