Ryan Gosling makes one small step for man and a great leap for all mankind in Damien Chazelle's new film “Man on the Moon” (2018) on NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission, which turned the story, bringing the first astronauts to the surface of the Moon after succession of trial and error. The picture deserves respect not only for the transfer of technical details and the transfer of the viewer into cosmic realities, but also emotional content.
Now it will be interesting to look at the reaction of the modern audience to the restraint of the film. Shazell tried to maintain a balance between the most important moment in history and the attitude of the heroes who had to write this history. Interestingly, the director did not try to go on American patriotism and tried to temper nationalist fervor by putting forward the history of the mission and its participants.
For the baby boom generation, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing was a tremendous moment justifying the promise of John F. Kennedy’s expanded space program following concerns about taxpayers leaking money, bitterness about the situation with Vietnam and growing distrust of the government. Interestingly, at the time of disembarkation, many schools stopped classes, and one of the commentators recalls: “I attended the parish school and instead of a lesson the nuns brought a black and white TV to watch the landing with the students. I will never forget this moment of unity of the whole world! ”. “Man on the Moon” begins with a single test flight of the Nile to the X-15, when he lifted 140,000 feet from Earth and went beyond the atmosphere. This was followed by the fall, the wreck of a ship and the miraculous rescue of the hero. The director used various effects to convey the fear, admiration and feelings of the main character when he managed to break the barrier.
It also touches the fact that originally Neil Armstrong is shown not as an American hero and legend, but as an ordinary humble person, surviving the death of a 3-year-old daughter. This is a simple engineer who systematically tackles any problem. If he does not understand something, then he reacts with isolation and detachment from his beloved wife (Claire Foy). It is also gratifying that the actress decided to deviate from the cliché of a female character with emotional support and shows Armstrong’s wife strong and resolute.
In the first part, Neil is looking for pilots for the NASA Gemini program, declaring Janet (his wife) that a new adventure awaits them. In the script, we tried to use the available slang about space terms, so that the story was as clear as possible. There is also discreet humor with minor characters and the communication of Neil and Edward White with his wife.
The tension of the film increases due to failures and unsuccessful missions. These stories break through into the American press, and citizens see how money goes into a black hole, taking astronauts with them. The director correctly showed the missions themselves, combining not only moments of triumph, but also risks to life. Armstrong in the most tense moments remains cool and decisive. Particular drama is achieved by the scene of a fire during a test at Cape Canaveral, where three astronauts die. Home scenes also seem spectacular, where Janet is trying to dissuade Neil from flying to Apollo 11 or when Armstrong discusses the possibility of his return with his sons. His words to the media seem impassive and carefully selected, because any inaccurate expression will raise a storm of protest among the people.
Gosling tried to show a focused astronaut who is serious about doing his duty. Armstrong is silent, concentrated and open to discuss his actions. But he is also disappointed in the press, which is trying to see the show in everything. Do not forget to show Gosling and the intimate moments of the astronaut's experiences, when he looks at the moon from his own yard, takes the first step or admires the Earth from the surface of the satellite.
“Man on the Moon” reveals not only the mission itself, but also conveys the atmosphere of that time, filled with pain, death, fear and hope. This is the period when all of humanity clung to the screens in order to set foot on the surface of another world with Neil Armstrong. And the good news is that this was not a feat of a superhero, but an act of an ordinary person. “Man on the Moon” will be available in cinemas from October 11, 2018.