Damien Chazell impresses with his vision of Neil Armstrong's dramatic story, played by Ryan Gosling. The script is an adaptation of Josh Singer's book-biography of the author James R. Hansen. Armstrong was destined to become the first man on the Moon, the embodiment of the American space breakthrough and the researcher who found Eden and returned to Earth, not only to share this joy with all of humanity, but also to watch the world gradually lose interest in space travel.
The film focuses on lunar flight, putting it halfway through the whole action, and then focuses on Armstrong’s long and mysterious life already on Earth. Shazell makes the culmination of the moon and the main event. The film is filled with amazing joy and delight. It is worth paying tribute to this existential adventure, forcing us to turn around and look at Earth from another space object. There is a wonderful shot where Armstrong stares dazedly at his mark left in the moon dust.
Not in the picture without patriotic notes. It can be seen how Armstrong and his comrades are shocked by the Soviet victories in the space arena, but Shazell put an end to the launch on the moon. And it was not without a magnificent phrase: “This is a small step for a man, but huge for all of humanity”. The truth is in reality there are hints that he honed this phrase in draft. But this situation was decided not to unwind in the film. Gosling shows us Armstrong as a strong, decent intellectual with maximum restraint and calm. Moreover, the film suggests that the absence of a normal explosion of feelings is essential for success. The hero remains imperturbable and focused on the spacecraft in conditions where other people would fight in panic and hysterics.
However, the film still does not allow us to perceive Neal as an insensitive robot. In 1962, his daughter Karen died of a brain tumor at the age of 3 years. So he dedicated his triumph to her? Or was it precisely the death of the child that made the hero a fatalistically balanced character? Shazell answers these questions quite clearly, when at the dinner table in conversation with the children Neal behaves as if at a press conference, saying: “Are there any more questions?”.
The film takes us to the mission of the 1960s. through the pain of failed launches, failed tests and a cockpit fire that killed three Apollo-1 crew members (1967). The funeral becomes a regular part of the life of NASA, and the black suits and ties literally do not leave the looks of the main characters. And astronauts should not get along. For example, Buzz Aldrin was shown as an incredibly noisy person. The film also touches on the topic of whether it was worthwhile to carry out a costly flight in a difficult for the period of the country, when there was a struggle against racial injustice. But the point is that all these failures, injustices and disputes are only certain sacrifices before a great event in the history of mankind. There is no compromise. Only perfection. “Man on the Moon” leaves a rather strange feeling at the end. Most of the film leads to the greatest moment of breakthrough, after which ... emptiness. The question arises: “What is the point?”.
We have seen many interesting films about aspects of the space race. “Hidden figures” reveal the indescribable contribution of African American women to the scientific work of NASA. “Apollo 13” tells about the period of the fall after Armstrong's triumph. And “Man on the Moon” reveals the flight itself. The premiere in Russia will be held on October 11, 2018.