2 Best Movies to Watch by Kunal Nayyar

Staff & contributors
Set at a time when humans can travel as far into space as Jupiter, Spaceman looks delightfully retro-futuristic. It’s as if the people and tech of the ‘60s were transported to a faraway future where things like long-haul space flights and nebulous pink clouds exist, and so visually, Spaceman is not tiring to look at. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about most of the film’s other elements, including its dialogue and story. Jakub is sent to space to collect mysterious ancient dust, but since we never know why he should exactly, it never feels consequential if at all necessary. In fact, this is less about his mission than it is about coming to terms with existential truths like pain, loss, and love. And what better way to confront all that than with a wise primordial arachnid? Now, the idea of a therapy session between a spaceman and a spider sounds intriguing enough, and with strong enough writing, it could fly. But the dialogue is too sparse to be thought-provoking. The main message, that you should appreciate what you have while you have it, is also too simple to carry the weight of this expansive film, especially since we have very few details about the story and character to go on with. But Sandler, Carrey Mulligan (who plays his wife), and even Paul Dano (who voices the spider) do the best with what they can, and if anything, you leave the film stunned by the visuals and moved by their empathetic performances.

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction

Actor: Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan, Isabella Rossellini, Jessica Bechyňová, John Flanders, Kunal Nayyar, Lena Olin, Marian Roden, Mikuláš Čížek, Paul Dano, Sinéad Phelps, Sunny Sandler, Zuzana Stivínová

Director: Johan Renck

Rating: R

The film takes us into the mind of a performative teenager trying to convince us, or an imaginary cameraman, of his coolness and wisdom. The second-person device may evoke teen comedy series from the 2000s (at best), but it is incredibly disorienting in this 100-minute movie. It is a slog of straightforward punchlines and tired cliches, which picks up a little too late in the final act where the central idea finally reveals itself: the harder you try to maintain control, the more easily it slips away. Similarly, the less brain power you use for this film, the better it gets.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Charithra Chandran, Charles Camrose, Daisy Jelley, Dhanushka Anson, Guz Khan, Kunal Nayyar, Lucy Punch, Madeline Holliday, Maisie Peters, Nick Frost, Sebastian Croft, Tanner Buchanan, Tim Downie

Director: Alex Pillai