In 2016 James Grey brought us the underrated ‘The Lost City of Z‘. A film that focused on the human need for exploration and understanding. Exploring the desire of humans to risk everything in answering the questions inherent in the unknown and unexplored. Ad Astra continues the themes of Grey’s earlier film. Mixing stunning cinematography with the human desire to answer the biggest question of our existence “Are we alone in our universe”. Creating a narrative that mixes these human desires and needs with the emotional detachment of exploration. The human desire to succeed at all costs interfacing with personal isolation of discovery.
Brad Pitt plays Major Roy McBride an astronaut renowned for his ability to stay calm under pressure. His dedication to his career having created isolation in his private life. His relationships and opportunities stifled by his unflinching devotion to space exploration. The need to achieve only enhanced by him being the son of the famous astronaut Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones). A man who pushed the boundaries of space exploration. But also, a man who spent limited time with his son, teaching him emotional restraint while neglecting to offer a loving hand. His obsession with space exploration all encompassing at the cost of his family.
Roy McBride lives with the knowledge that his father went missing while on an expedition to the outer reaches of the solar system. His crews mission to find evidence of extraterrestrial life having failed. However, after life on Earth is threatened by a series of mysterious power surges emanating from Neptune. Roy finds himself enlisted on a top secret mission to find his fathers ship. The realisation that his dad may still be out there, awakening memories and emotions buried long ago