First Man Movie Review Rating: 4.5/5 Stars (Four and a half stars)
Star Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Patrick Fugit, Christopher Abbott, Ciarán Hinds, Olivia Hamilton, Pablo Schreiber, Shea Whigham, Lukas Haas, Ethan Embry, Brian D’Arcy James, Corey Michael Smith, Kris Swanberg
Director: Damien Chazelle
What’s Good: More than being just a film, this is an experience! An experience of taking you literally on the moon, Justin Hurwitz’s attempt at winning the 3rd Oscar with that haunting background score & the way Chazelle connects the biggest event in the human history with the music – it’s ‘out-of-the-world’!
What’s Bad: Because of its subtle touch to the narration the things do get lazy at places, also for the first time I hated to get popcorn during the interval because they became obstruction when things started getting even better in the 2nd half!
Loo Break: If you even think to go to the loo in between, your pee-wee will just levitate in the air (gravity on the moon) and come back on you!
Watch or Not?: If you’re here reading my review that means you somewhere are aware about the film & take it personally from me – watch it before the world starts talking about it, as it’s all set to make some noise at the Oscars!
Neil Armstrong, a stubborn test pilot, gets into an X 15 to review it among-st the dark clouds but it gets shaky and almost impossible for him to come back from above. Armstrong being Armstrong, lands safely and there we get our probable contender for the first man on the moon. Along with professional issues, Neil has a daughter affected by a tumour. He loses her and that makes him live less than before. Alone in a room, he cries his heart out but for his wife Janet (Claire Foy) he’s still someone who has never grieved.
He gets a call from NASA saying he has been selected for the Gemini/Apollo program. Looking for a fresh start, Neil aims at the moon! Going through a gravity test and some theory classes, Armstrong gets ready to achieve the monumental feat. No one has ever had a smooth biopic and so does Armstrong! We see how the mission Apollo gets opposed by people as they thing the US government is spending money on the lesser important things. Amidst the Gil Scott-Heron’s Whitey On The Moon, we see how this much criticised mission gets accomplished.
First Man Movie Review: Script Analysis
You get an idea how the story is so tight when in just around first fifteen minutes you’re getting moist-eyed over Armstrong’s loss of daughter. Interstellar, Gravity have depicted what happens outside that spaceship but First Man exclusively takes you inside one. This needs to be called as the first space film which isn’t sci-fi. The first-person happenings from the pilot’s point of view tenfold the watching experience. I watched this with a friend and in the interval he said he’s feeling heavy-eyed because of the spaceship proceedings, and this is the greatest achievement for the team because they make you sit with the pilot throughout.
Continuing its team with the Academy Award winners – Cinematographer Linus Sandgren (Won the Oscar for Chazelle’s La La Land) and Composer Justin Hurwitz (Won 2 Oscars for Chazelle’s La La Land) – the master director nails both these departments. Linus Sandgren makes sure to capture every minute detail with his camera but that costs him some shaky zoomed in scenes at places minus spaceship. The visuals are just about enough to match up this flawless realistic event.
First Man brings in the most authentic in-flight experience ever seen in a space film. Silence plays an important role to depict all the chaos – from the shaky landing to the turmoil happening in the sky. The way Armstrong looks at the moon before taking off evokes all the goosebumps you need. The bond with his daughter has been written and used so well used throughout the film.
First Man Movie Review: Star Performance
Ryan Gosling underplays himself and how? He is the best Armstrong makers could have got. The plain-faced actions, those timely grims and smirks – Gosling acts like he is already sure of bagging an Oscar for this. He’s par brilliant in a breakdown scene and that says everything about how great actor he is.
Claire Foy is a symbol of perfection in the role of Janet(Armstrong’s wife). Even she is a probable contender for bringing in Best Actress award at the Oscars. She depicts the frustration of a wife, who is rooting for a normal life, in a sublime way. Never for a frame she crosses the line to ham or overdo a scene.
Corey Stoll, best known for Congressman Peter Russo in House Of Cards, does a fine job as Buzz Aldrin. How I wished to see more of his acting chops but story without roaming around the bushes stay true to the central character.
First Man Movie Review: Direction, Music
Damien Chazelle steps out of his comfort zone of ‘celebrating art’ and he celebrates science instead. Every tensed scene is followed by a Piano. Neil Armstrong puts in a CD and dances with his wife & that’s where we know this is a movie by Damien Chazelle. This wasn’t enough, we also see how Neil hands over a cassette in space to listen to the music. Also loved how a proper amount of politics is used and nothing is forced just for the sake of it.
Justin Hurwitz devotes himself entirely to the theme of the film as he gets ready to bag his 3rd Oscar. He fixates the instruments in order to create a theme for every little instance in the film. The Theremin used at couple of junctures spooks out the atmosphere smoothening your transit to the space. Hurwitz, very smoothly, goes the (Hans) Zimmer way and also this easily could be counted as his tribute for 2001: A Space Odyssey.
First Man Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, First Man depicts probably the most epic event in the history in the trademarked Damien Chazelle style. His last movie La La Land promised stars and moon, Chazelle literally takes you to the moon with this one. When it all ended, I was prompt to say that I am back from the moon and not from a movie.
Four and a half stars!
First Man Movie Trailer
First Man Movie releases on 12th October, 2018.
Share with us your experience of watching First Man Movie .