Ad Astra centers on Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), an astronaut, who is tasked to figure out what happened on his father’s space mission that lead to his disappearance.
Ad Astra is yet another space film in the collection that has come out in recent years. This film is a bit different from the others. It’s a quiet, meditative film that focuses on a lonely man who slowly unravels with his father’s troubles and sins being passed onto him.
Despite a couple of action sequences, the film is set at a slower pace and is not centered around the action. It’s a character piece about a stoic man slowly becoming more emotional due to the events of the film. Brad Pitt was amazing in the film and despite not being very open, he manages to keep you engaged in his character and the story.
One thing that took me out of the film was the constant voice-over. It took some getting used to because voice-overs usually only happen at the beginning or end of a film. But the voice-over in the film gives more insight into the main character’s thought process which I did appreciate, and without the voice over the film would have little dialogue.
The cinematography of the film was beautiful. And the use of color in certain scenes was a bit reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The director, James Gray, whose work I’m not too familiar with does a great job behind the camera. In particular, there is a moon chase sequence which was riveting and very impressive to see on screen.
I would have also liked a bit more insight into the main’s character relationship to Liv Tyler. We only get a few shots of her in the film, and I think one or two flashbacks of their marriage would offered more insight into why Pitt’s character is so lonely and reserved. I also wish Ruth Negga had a bit more to do in the film as well.
Overall, Ad Astra is a meditative film about fathers and sons. It’s a slower film and not everyone will enjoy it, but the cinematography, Brad Pitt’s performance, and the direction all made film captivating and worth watching.
I give Ad Astra an A-