Since the very basis of science fiction is to spin a
yarn around the implausible, let’s accept that 5,000 earth people are ready to
buy a ticket to move to a new planet for a new beginning. They hop aboard
commercial space ship Avalon, and lie snug inside a hibernation pod with the
promise that when they awaken 120 years later, they’ll land in Homestead II, a
new world where they can make a fresh beginning.
But one major mishap and hey presto, passenger Jim
Preston awakens 90 years too early. The ship’s not equipped for such an
eventuality and he can’t be put back to sleep. He’s doomed to die aboard Avalon
long before it reaches Homestead. But while he’s alive, he has everything that a
human would ever want. There’s even cheerful bartender, Arthur the android, on
board who makes delightful conversation and fixes the perfect drink. Breakfast,
gym, movies, popcorn, swimming, basketball, dancing, Jim can have anything he
wants except human company. It’s soon
like solitary confinement which can drive you crazy with boredom. It drives the
lonesome handsome to fall in love with hibernating beauty, Aurora Lane, a
One year later, Jim does what he shouldn’t have. He
wakes up Aurora. Now her life’s doomed too. As she puts it, they’ll be forever
travelling, never reaching. But love and
romance are inevitable and they date in style, in fancy restaurants where
they’re the only patrons and they go dancing where they have the floor to
Like all relationship stories wherever they may be set,
there’s a break-up before a monumental crisis looms where they must join forces
to save Avalon and the sleeping passengers from being roasted to death. Systems
rebooted, romance restored.
A happy ending for the romance is their new beginning.
Now if only science fiction were also able to conjure the perfect script, Passengers wouldn’t have been so
predictable. Director Mortin Tyldum flounders on where to take his film, with
decreasing excitement over an impending disaster.
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are efficient as the
couple in love in outer space. Michael Sheen as
Arthur the android provides a bit of mirth. And there
are puns floating around about giving each other
But for a plot that gets lost somewhere in the galaxy,
Passengers gets a 2* rating.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Columnist, Critic & Author