First Man (2018)
Drama, history, biography – USA – 141 min
Written by Josh Singer (screenplay) and James R. Hansen (book)
Directed by Damien Chazelle
Have you ever wondered how it’s like to board a spacecraft in a fancy, literally out-of-this-world space suit? Cause I haven’t – it’s just beyond the scope of my imagination. But I know one thing – watching First Man is the closest you can get to see and experience space journey.
It’s July 19th, 1969, far from hybrid cars, instagrams and robotic waiters. Somewhere out there something is happening, something incredibly important, much more cooler than all the photos of naked, half-naked celebrities and half-baked muffins of celebrities-to-be. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you an ultimate triumph of a mankind: landing on the Moon! Starring: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, dozens of scientists, engineers, technicians, NASA’s staff, fellow astronauts, and their families. This story however, focuses on Neil Armstrong, a man whose feet, or rather foot-parts of his space suit, have touched the surface of the Moon for the very first time.
Becoming and astronaut is not a piece of cake, and so isn’t being a family of a space trainee. The movie shows us making of an astronaut and it is a long journey – much longer than just flight to the Moon and back. The story opens with Neil’s family tragedy which will haunt him till the end. We accompany him in his ups and downs, when he vomits after rotating in multiple planes at the speed so great he passes out, when his fellow astronauts die at the beginning of their space flight, and when he qualifies to NASA’s project. When he struggles with a traumatic event he just can’t get better from, and when his personality transforms to create an atmosphere so dense, he deserts beloved people. And that’s just before his major journey.
First Man portrays a man who dreams big and takes a journey through his bevearement to find himself in this world or, should I rather say beyond this world. Perhaps it’s his escape…?
But enough with the drama and psychological aspects of this beautiful, stirring deep movie. What I loved the most about it and what impressed me the most were incredible, out-of-this-world (alright, enough with this space-reference puns, I promise!) shots of flight inside and outside the Earth atmosphere. I have never seen such an exciting and nerve-breaking film! As a spectator, I felt just like I was on board with Neil every time he got on a plane or a spacecraft. For all the geeky technomaniacs out there – you will surely enjoy the evolution of space technology and even space suits, which is a silent but important star (okay, that was unintended!) of the movie.
A stunning, life-changing experience, that’s what First Man is.
My rate: 10/10 (!)
P.S. Ryan Gosling surely deserves an Oscar for the main part!
P.S.2 Claire Foy was great too!