On Thursday, September 28, the fantastic drama of South Korean production "The Moon" begins in Russian cinemas. The director, screenwriter, and one of the producers of the project is Kim Young-hwa, who previously worked on such films as "With the Gods: Two Worlds" and "200 Pounds of Beauty". The central roles were played by Seol Kyung-gu ("Memories of a Killer", "2012: Tsunami") and a member of the popular music group Exo To Kyung-su.
The action takes place in 2029. Three astronauts are sent to the moon. As a result of a solar flare, many systems on the ship fail. After the accident, only one member of the mission remains alive - the young Hwang So Woo (To Kyung-su), at that moment the only one who was inside the ship and did not know how to control it. While the hero stretches the available resources and tries to survive in difficult conditions, the Earth is looking for ways to save him. The Korean mission control center intends to involve NASA in cooperation and eventually meets with support from colleagues from the West, but everything becomes very complicated when Hwang Seo Woo manages to land on the back of the satellite, almost inaccessible to astronauts. From that moment on, no one believes in the success of the operation and does not intend to make sacrifices, as a result of which the fate of the hero is in the hands of his former colleague Jae Guk (Seol Kyung-gu) and his assistant blogger. Jae Guk, for personal reasons, has long since retired, however, as it turns out over time, he is indebted to Hwang.
Visually, the picture turned out to be very attractive - carefully designed locations and verified shots are easily captivating, even when nothing is happening in the plot yet, and floating shooting in scenes set in space creates a convincing effect of presence. All the artists in the film are perfect, as if for selection: the three astronauts are very young and look like Korean pop stars, most of those around them are not inferior to them. In short, aesthetic pleasure when viewing is almost guaranteed.
- © Still from the movie "The Moon" (2023)
However, from the point of view of technology and depiction of life beyond the Earth, the film does not show anything new: like numerous other projects of similar subjects, "The Moon" at the same time resembles a standard set of Hollywood films - "Interstellar", "Gravity" and "The Martian". Filmmakers from South Korea did not come up with any new, original solutions, and did not try too hard to explain the technical details: the ship was out of order - and that's all the audience needs to know. There is relatively little action inherent in the genre in this project, so it is not very interesting to watch the "space" side of the plot.
In addition, the authors of the tape were several months late with its release: after the recent successes of India, the on-screen lunar race does not seem so important and intense, and after the release of the Russian "Challenge", a story about space, filmed not in space, is no longer so impressive.
However, the real strength of the "Moon" is the personal dramas of the characters, their internal conflicts. Not the most original plot takes on a deep meaning and becomes multifaceted when the audience learns that Hwang Seo Woo's father also participated in a similar mission and died, and Jae Guk was partly guilty of this.
As a result, Jae Guk, tormented by guilt in front of the young astronaut, is ready to do anything to save him, and the same struggle with the system, which does not want to go to extreme measures for the sake of one person, becomes not a standard obstacle, but a personal duty of the hero. At the same time, Hwang Seo Woo cannot get rid of the despair caused by his father's death and resentment against him, and considers it his only goal to complete his work.
The personal stories of the characters are revealed gradually, the tension in the picture is constantly growing, and if its first part is not too impressive, then it is much more difficult to break away from the second. The actors in the film sometimes dramatize a lot, but in general they quite convincingly convey the characters and experiences of the characters, which increases the intensity.
Closer to the climax, a carefully constructed narrative slightly spoils the obsessive desire of the authors of the tape to delay the denouement: several times the viewer is led to the fact that Hwang So Woo is doomed: he runs out of air, the equipment is out of order again, the system has won, no one will save the hero. However, everything changes with the advent of new details of a personal nature: thanks to this, the motivation of the characters once again grows and the opportunities for saving the astronaut are found again and again. Naturally, in any mass cinema there should be a so-called attraction, but it ceases to be exciting after the second repetitive turn.
In general, "Moon" is a good, but mediocre film about space, but at the same time a strong human drama about friendship, guilt, despair and social problems. In terms of dramaturgy and emotional component, the project is also somewhat reminiscent of the South Korean "Train to Busan": a film about zombies, in which zombies are secondary, and most importantly, the self-sacrifice of the father for the sake of his daughter. So it is here: in the "Moon" the Moon is not so important, feelings are paramount.