The Midnight Sky premiered on 23rd December 2020 on Netflix. Directed by George Clooney himself, the film is an adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s acclaimed 2016 novel Good Morning, Midnight. The film co-stars David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir, and Tiffany Boone.
If The World Was Ending…
The film opens with ice-storms raging and people lined up, leaving Earth or temporary underground hiding bunker for surviving the unnamed catastrophe that hit the Earth. It is here that we see Augustine Lofthouse, who denies leaving this destroyed and unlivable place. Two weeks later, Augustine, now operating in the Arctic, after refusing to evacuate his base, aware that he’s not going to live long because of his cancer. On his own, he attempts to contact any active space mission hoping to alert them of the crisis on Earth so that they don’t return but finds that most of them have been disbanded.
Only one mission, Aether, is still operational and is currently returning from Jupiter after the discovery of the habitable moon, K-23. The crew onboard is unaware of the events on Earth. As he deals with his everyday blood transfusion and attempts to establish contact, he meets a little girl who has been hiding on the base. Soon after, they develop a bond as they deal with the ordeals of the unkind Earth all the while trying to contact Aether. Their struggle with depleting resources and the future and life of Aether and its crew members is the journey we further follow.
There is something absolutely beautiful and engrossing about The Midnight Sky. The story is set in 2 places – Earth and space and yet the stories here are intertwined and play out as individual stories and none is left off incomplete. In one way or the other, they both mirror each other, sometimes in terms of condition and sometimes emotions. There are ample space movies out there but what makes this one different is the idea of existential and emotional angst.
The film, in terms of its entire space or catastrophe depiction, might not be the same as Gravity or Interstellar but it brings forth the idea of loneliness and loss and lastly, the idea of being lost in one’s own self. This being said, the film establishes a melancholic undertone about it rather than limiting itself to the wonders or secrets of space and the other possible life forms.
One of the strongest and gut-wrenching scenes of The Midnight Sky is where the astronauts set out for a space-walk to make necessary repairs to the ship and something scary and dreadful happens. Everything about the film is well-placed and crafted. The production design is amazing and engrossing and the film does not disappoint in terms of both its storyline and pace. In 122-minutes, the film leaves a mark on its viewers.
The characters here are compelling and each and every character has a place of their own. There are no clashes or character over-shadowing. Felicity Jones as Sully, David Oyelowo as Commander Gordon Adewole, Tiffany Boone as Maya, Demián Bichir as Sanchez, and Kyle Chandler as Mitchell play the roles of the astronauts on the ship who set out to search for an environment worth surviving other than Earth. But when they come to know that there is no safe place on Earth and people have died, the pain on their faces is heart-wrenching. Additionally, Clooney is remarkable and makes you feel the pain that he is going through.
Summing up, The Midnight Sky is a beautiful, strong, and engrossing movie that’ll keep you hooked till the very end. The big reveal at the end of the film is heavy to process/digest but it makes the angst and pain of a person come alive leaving no place for a happy ending for those on Earth. Indeed, The Midnight Sky is a moving film.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! The Midnight Sky promises to keep you watching throughout its duration and, in a low-key way, tells you what the future might be like if we don’t preserve our environment and our dearest planet now. The characters in space, if you look closer, are a representation of not just astronauts but of human qualities and traits which in itself is amazing.
The Midnight Sky is now streaming on Netflix.
Read our other reviews here.