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B as in Plan B.
B for Brilliant.
B for Brad Pitt.
Ad Astra, as the name suggests, is a journey to the stars, to the space, sometimes even beyond it, through it's philosophy and conceptual thoughts.
Ad Astra, with all the hype and expectations on it's shoulder, starts in an intriguing manner and cuts to the pith of the movie very quickly.
Despite the primary reason he has been tasked with, the journey of Roy McBride seeks several answers. Many, to his own personal questions, be that his relationship with his father or his relationship with the love of his life.
This movie is much closer to "Solaris" or "2001: A Space Odyssey" or to an extent "Apocalypse Now", where it asks several questions about life and the journey and struggles of a man seeking the truth of existence, than actually seeking the possibilities of science. We are shown, in several scenes, the weight of a proud son trying to measure up to his father, in the most subtle yet tempestuous manner. The movie also tries to dissect the answer to the question - what is important for us - success, love, finding reasons, or the most important of it all, finding our true selves.
Customarily, filled with exemplary shots which are expected from a space travel sci-fi, the movie tries to find the perfect balance between, being a thrillful and erudite Odyssey, simultaneously. Though, it falls short of reaching the levels of a "Solaris or "2001: ", it does finds it's purpose in it's own space.
The movie also reminds us of how underrated Brad Pitt as an actor is, despite his acclaimed fame. He has characterized the emotions and traumas of Roy McBride, quite to the perfection. This is easily one of the top five performances of his entire acting career.
James Gray has stitched up a near perfect movie with all the right questions asked and somehow it feels like there are more questions and journey which he could be after.
Easily, one of the very best of the year. Ad Astra is a journey worth it's time!
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