At first, I was kind of conflicted in watching this movie. The general opinion about it was divided as well. There were some great rankings, 4 of 5 stars and 2 of 5 stars. That’s a huge difference. I thought it would be a survival kind of movie (which in part it ends up to be) much alike Gravity or The Martian.
Passengers turned out to focus on more than survival. Another aspect that makes our lives much more pleasant (for the most part) and that it is indeed required for us to survive, although mentally, without falling into madness. And that’s the company of others. Our need to socially interact with another of our kind.
It begins with a huge and complex spaceship traversing a field of asteroids. The vessel was designed with a powerful field that would melt anything in front it, and in this case, it melted the asteroids that would otherwise collide with it. This huge spacecraft transports around five thousand people currently in hibernation until they are able to reach their destination, a planet capable of harboring life as we know it on Earth.
For some reason, one of the hibernation pods malfunctioned and a man was released from the cryosleep. Jim, played by Chris Pratt, finds himself alone within the immense space vessel, centuries ahead of the predicted awakening alongside everyone else. He roams the ship, confused about the whole situation, trying to find anyone else in the same situation as his, but there was no one there. He tried to make sense of his situation, to contact Earth for help, to break into the crew’s room and even to fix his hibernation pod with the help of the instructions present within the ship. Without success, he ended up taking advantage of everything that the ship could offer. The hibernation pods were programmed for everyone to wake up some months before landing, so the humans there had a lot of restaurants, bars, and entertainment to enjoy before setting their feet on the new planet that they would call home. In one of those bars, Jim met Arthur, a robot with a barman AI, perfect for companionship.
But a human can only endure so long without one of its kind. After a year alone in the huge spacecraft, solitude was eating Jim alive and the young mechanic began to watch videos of the people currently in cryogenic stasis. He found a young woman, a writer and from a very wealthy family. It seemed that he had fallen a little for her, but the wish to have company was clearly stronger at that time. He was sure that he was condemning the young woman to probably die on the spaceship, six hundred years before her supposed awakening, but the need to wash off that solitude spoke way above his morality.
Aurora, played by Jeniffer Lawrence, awoke pretty much like Jim, confused and looking for answers. Jim gave himself to know her as soon as she arrived at the main lobby and explained the situation. I guess I can just tell you the whole plot of the movie since there’s not much more to tell about it, plotwise that is.
They live a romance after Aurora learned the shocking truth, but then Arthur revealed to her what Jim had done and the two of them broke off immediately and she even tried to kill him. But then Captain Morpheus… oh wait that’s not it… Deck Chief Gus Mancuso, played by Laurence Fishburn, interrupted the bad affair of love between Jim and Aurora. He awoke from a malfunction on his hibernation pod and he began to access what caused Jim’s pod to malfunction and addressed the situation by telling them that sending them into hibernation was now impossible because that was a process done on Earth. He later found out that one small meteor had pierced through the ship’s plating and found its way to the engine, causing the spacecraft to malfunction with a lot of errors and ultimately to be destroyed if nothing was done to it. The three of them band together to fix it and Morp– Oh right… Gus ultimately dies in the process but both Aurora and Jim managed to survive and repair the ship, thus spending the rest of their lives there. The end.
As I said above, I was not expecting this movie to have this level of, let’s call it psychology. To be completely alone but with the possibility to awake another human being but in doing so we’d be condemning he or her to spend the rest of their lives within the spacecraft. And the answer given in the movie was a guilty yes. I’d probably do the same if I was in his place. We’re social creatures by nature. We work together, we live together, we fight together and with one another. Having all of that taken out from us is a blow that would make that small little hole within our heart to grow larger every day.
The plot was simple and easy to follow. Besides some awesome space scenes within the movie and a couple of views in the lofts within the spacecraft, the scenery gets pretty boring past half of the movie since you know, it is not going to change. Although of course it’s understandable, but I thought I should mention it anyway.
Not gonna lie, I enjoyed the experience as it brought my attention to an aspect of our nature that we neglect from time to time, even though the technologies of today are supposed to help and ease the process to socialize with one another.