Outer Space is tough and unforgivable. We have seen many science fiction films that have explored how the bonding, courage and sacrifices of team members on a long journey to the unknown salvages a mission against all odds. Stowaway (2021) is one more of the same, it had little of science and more around the moral decisions that have to made on who gets to live and who dies in extreme situations. The film is available on Netflix and gets a Mangoidiots rating of ‘Raw’.
A 3-member crew is on a two-year mission to Mars when they suddenly discover they have a stowaway, a fourth-person inside their ship unknown to everyone. His presence affects the onboard oxygen reserves endangering the lives of the entire crew. There seems to no chance for them to survive; how the crew handle this stressful situation is the story.
The four actors have done a brilliant job, turning an ordinary script into a film that was engaging till the very end. The EVA (spacewalk) done by the crew, to climb from their capsule to another one with the delicate solar panels in between with nothing to hold or step-on other than two large poles was breathtaking – it felt like I was having an acrophobic attack, it was so realistic. Kudos to Director Joe Penna and to Cinematographer Klemens Becker for the same.
Unfortunately, the film focused on only one issue for too long, and after the first hour, it became tiring. The crew could’ve been given some wins early on and shown to be solving a different problem in the second half. The climax was predictable too.