Edinburgh’s cinemas have their own, different feel. When I visit them, I’ll be writing about both the film and the place, giving you the organic experience. Film critics on the big scale can’t really cater for this, so I hope my reviews bring something extra in this respect.
I enjoy films that present moral dilemmas; no matter how good or bad the film is, you leave the cinema with a 'what-would-I-have-done' contemplation. Batman Dark Knight involves one such point of reflection, a test set up by The Joker to play two ships of passengers against one another with exploding devices and a whole lot of mutual mistrust. Yet a moral relatable one appears in Passengers, a luxuriant sci-fi currently still showing at Cineworld, starring two of Hollywood's most bankable and attractive action stars, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. With the film at the end of its run, I will call 'SPOILER ALERT' and reveal it involves a technical hitch on a glorious spaceship that awakens a single individual 90 years from the intended destination while everyone else remains in hibernation.
There are certain tropes with this kind of scenario, a dystopian loneliness of a single person left on their own. First comes the pleasure of indulging yourself, then comes the boredom and then the loneliness really kicks in. The flirtation with madness appears, and the contemplating of suicide. What rescues Pratt's character is the sleeping form of a beautiful woman; he checks her video log and sees she's funny and likeable and down-to-earth, someone he could fall in love with. Someone who could save him from the horrific accident to which he's condemned, and she doesn't need to know it was him who awoke her. What would you do?
The film itself has been panned by the critics, harshly, I think. The first half is 'on the money', and the introduction of Laurence Fishburne two-thirds of the way through brings a nicely timed dynamic. Yes, the very end is mawkish. It tries to wrap things up with an ending as perfect as possible, and it doesn't quite make sense; life rarely ends in 'happy endings' if it ends at all. But I enjoyed this film and recommend it, and for anyone who watches it, I leave you this question: what would you have done?