Throwback Review: M Stands For Minimalistic In “Moon”

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Moon (2009) was a debut feature film for the director Duncan Jones (Source Code). It’s an unusual sci-fi movie in many respects, including its slow pace and minimum of action. But one of the most unique things about Moon is that it is essentially a movie of one actor, which underlines the isolation and loneliness of the main character.

Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is an astronaut nearing the end of his 3-year contract of working on the moon. Sam oversees the extraction and the shipment to earth of Helium-3, a source of clean energy. The only company Sam has is GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey), an intelligent computer that assists Sam in all things. Sam’s monotone existence changes drastically after he gets into an accident at one of the harvesters.

Moon has a somewhat psychedelic quality about it, and the mostly closed spaces certainly help with that. There is not that much going on, but the unhurried pace suits the story well and doesn’t give the impression of being too dragged out (maybe just a little, in the beginning).

The eerie and minimalistic soundtrack by Clint Mansell accompanies the equally minimalistic picture. “Minimalistic” is the word that can be applied to all aspects of this movie, considering the fact that most of the time we only see one actor on the screen. This would certainly present a very interesting challenge for any actor, and Sam Rockwell manages to keep the viewer’s interest from the beginning to the very end. It is very easy to believe that he has spent three years alone (save for GERTY’s company), and it shows in his appearance and in his behavior in the most subtle ways.

I liked Moon‘s overall stripped-down feel and the fact that there is only one actor most of the time. If you are looking for something different in the genre of sci-fi, Moon might be a good choice for you.

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