Moon - Film Review
Directed by Duncan Jones
Written by Duncan Jones and Nathan Parker
Starring Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey and Dominique McElligott
Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is coming to the end of a three year stint as the sole operator of a mining operation based on the Moon. After the discovery of a new energy source in the geology of the Moon's surface, Sam along with Gerty, a super intelligent computer, controls the station and ensures the maintenance of the equipment. But as Sam nears his return to Earth his health starts to deteriorate and an accident in one of the Lunar Rovers starts a chain of events that are disturbing and lead Sam to make some very difficult decisions.
Sam Bell is the lone human occupant and operator of Lunar Industries Inc's operation on the Moon. Sam, along with Gerty, an Artificially Intelligent computer, ensure the smooth running of the station. Their job is to mine Helium - 3, a new clean and efficient energy source that they send back to Earth in capsules.
As Sam gets closer to going home he starts to evaluate his time on the Moon and during his recording of message and conversations with Gerty he reveals that he believes 3 years is far too long for anyone to be alone in such an isolated place. this issue is exasperated due to the fact that the long range communications have been damaged by a Solar flare. He begins to see images of other people in the station and he starts to doubt his sanity. His health and general well being are getting progressively worse and his ability to function properly is seriously impaired.
On a trip out to investigate a problem with one of the Harvesters, Sam has an accident and is knocked oncocious. The next thing we see is Sam in the infirmary, he awakens with no knowledge of the accident and his only memory is of Gerty. As Sam begins to regain his strength he believes he hears Gerty having a conversation with somebody back on Earth, Gerty denies this.
When fully recovered Sam discovers that one of the Harvesters has no motion, he tells Gerty he is going out to investigate, but is told that he is not allowed out and that the problem will be dealt with by a rescue ship from Earth. Sam engineers a situation to force Gerty in to allowing him out of the station and he goes to investigate the stationery harvester. It is here where he makes a disturbing discovery. Sam returns to the station with another person, who appears to be an exact duplicate of himself.
From this point we discover that that Sam is actually a clone and together the two Sam's try to unravel the reasons for their existence and who Sam Bell really is.
This film was Director and Writer Duncan Jones' first entry in to the big time and what an entry! Intelligently written and superbly acted, Moon is a triumph all round. The clone Sam played by Sam Rockwell, is fed with artificial and historical memories by the company that will last for the three years of his stint, but as he nears the end of this period we see the weight of the loneliness bearing down on him and with no other human company to share the deep emotions he is having he spirals in to a world of self doubt and questions his relationship with his wife and daughter. Rockwell's ability to play both Sam in both states of mind is fantastic and their confrontations show each of them their faults and strengths.
The desolation of the situation is beautifully displayed in the shots outside the station with spectacular images of The Earth from The Moon, to be able to look on something so beautiful, and want it so much, but it is out of your reach.
The film also raises the moral dilemma of a situation that could possibly be a future of ours at some time. Is it ethically right to deal with a situation in this way that is far more financially viable and ensures that a 'human' doesn't suffer the psychological problems of isolation. And the far bigger issue of creating a sentient being with a defined life span to do the bidding of others.
A truly brilliant film, done on a low budget, with only 3 actors. One of films stand out debuts, and one of my all time favourites! A little fact for you, after being asked to be the voice for Gerty, Kevin Spacey was hesitant, but after he saw the film voiced by another actor, he jumped at it, I'm glad he did!