Ad Astra is directed by James gray, starring brad Pitt in the lead role and received mixed reviews especially from its audience with many finding it boring, I blame the marketing showing the film as an action-packed Sc -fi epic, when it is actually more of a slow, atmospheric almost arthouse drama with not as many action set pieces as one might expect from the trailer, the film was not a box office success, this is because it couldn't bring in a big general audience even if many critics liked it.
Well first before I review Ad Astra, I will talk about the art forms that this film used these are cinematography- film is a visual medium and the film used this art form to its advantage, acting- the acting was very good all-around and this is another art form that was used throughout,
I saw Ad Astra at my local Odeon with my dad on the 23/09/19, we both walked out of the film with different opinions so it even divided us, like it divided many others who saw it, in this review I will say my opinion on the film and why I enjoyed it as much as I did.
Ad Astra is visually stunning as it should be with its pretty big budget and honestly it is beautiful to look at, the film is much more than just a Sc-fi and has many elements to it that work in equal measure, these are Sc-fi, drama and arthouse, this is not your average Sc-fi so if you see it be warned that you won't be getting the Sc-fi epic you may have expected, it’s a very slow burn, character driven film.
Its slow pace may not be for everyone but for me worked in its advantage letting me take in the story, get lost in the world being shown and really get into the head of Brad Pitt’s character, all of this is needed in many films but this type of drama especially, for a character study to really work you need a great lead that can be believable in the role, that’s what makes Brad Pitt’s stunning performance even better.
Another aspect of the film that I thought was great is the sound design, it's very effective and perfectly adds to the film's intense moments but also its more sad and atmospheric moments, this balanced sound design and score really adds to the films whole impact on the viewer.
The films themes come across to the viewer very well, especially its themes of isolation and loss which are effective and used throughout the film in a well told fashion, other notable themes are the role of a father and abandonment, these two themes are at the heart of the film's drama filled moments, a real sadness is presented in the film and these two themes build on the films purpose, this was another aspect I liked, and thought was well handled.
Another aspect I found enjoyable was the production design and effects because they are all very well done and look impressive. Now as you can probably tell I have been very positive about the film but moving on from the aspects I really liked, I will now list my problems with the film and why it is not a “perfect” film in my opinion.
The film is slightly overlong sure it’s a slow burn character study, but I could see why some people thought it went on for way to long, I personally didn’t think it went on to the point where I was bored but I did feel if they cut 20 minutes down, the story of the film would still be the same if not more effective. My next problem is also to do with the story seeing as it is a very long film, I felt the side characters were a little bit too underdeveloped and could have been more fleshed out, so you actually cared about what happened to them on screen. This is a major problem seeing as how the film is a character study, but I believe this is because the film’s focus is Brad Pitt’s character to the point that the film relies too much on his character and not enough on the world and characters around him, this would help the audience to be more connected to some events of the film.
This is the end of my review, so my final rating of the film is a 4 out of 5, it’s a solid well-crafted character study that has a few problems but a lot of positive aspects, it certainly is a Sc- Fi film that will divide its audience and that’s a good and a bad thing.