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Passengers, a review (mild spoilers)...

Now, having seen the movie I can understand it's mixed reviews. That said, in spite of a couple of plot issues and an end scene that was ill conceived, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and would give it three and a half to four stars. My wife, OTOH, did not like certain aspects of the film and would probably give it two to two and a half stars. In a very real sense, we're both right, and so are the mix of reviews.

The basic problem is one of an underlying theme of gender conflict that can be seen on one level as an achieved male fantasy and on another as cruelty and abuse. For men, this film is an accessible romanctic story ...without the primary focus being sexual lust... about survival and love that evolves between two characters brought together by fate. It's built around a strong female lead who in many ways is equal or superior to her male counterpart, but who is unaware of all the facts and misled into a relationship.

By random accident Aurora's sleeping image becomes his fantasy; her accessed background information, a video dating ap. Eventually, she becomes an obsession for his survival. Except through an extraordinary set of circumstances she would've always been beyond his reach, that is why this film is very much built upon a male fantasy. Societies conventions are cast aside as are any competiton for Aurora's affections.

In essence, the stranded male is cut adrift from all humanity, motivated by a choice, either eternal solitude, suicide or pulling another passenger into his lonely world. Eventually, he justifies his deceptions as a means to survive and maintain his sanity. Like Tom Hank's "Wilson" Aurora becomes his lifeline, but with a sexual component of Adam selecting his own Eve, and thereby he becomes a stalker by proxy, selecting a victim who has no choice in the matter.

For women, at it's core, this film may come across as a film where Aurora has her life and promise of a rewarding future stolen from her by a self-serving decision of her romantic compatriot. In the end, for many women this act of subterfuge and betrayal is irredeemable. The fact that her partner on this voyage is driven by misfortune to a lifetime of seclusion doesn't excuse his actions in spite of the ship's peril (which ultimately becomes a secondary plot point to set things in motion). In an odd twisted way both conflicting perceptions ...male & female... are entirely accurate.

Indeed, the subtext of Passengers is at it's core a male fantasy, but it isn't a terrible movie by any means. It is the kind of movie that encourages discussions on sexual perspectives. Nevertheless, as well done and genuinely romantic as Passengers intent may be, it just might be the worst date movie ever.

So, that's why this film is both a hit and a miss. It may get elected, but not by a majority vote.

Edits: 12/30/16

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Topic - Passengers, a review (mild spoilers)... - Audiophilander 14:46:14 12/30/16 (18)


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