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Guest: Passengers: Romantic or Creepy?

By: | October 7, 2017 | Tags: , , , , | 59 comments

Please meet Carolee Croft – Adventurous Romance and Erotica 
This movie is so misunderstood. It has received a lot of bad reviews in which critics have complained about how it unexpectedly changes genre half-way through, but personally, I think it was a romance all along.
After all, it’s a movie about two very lonely people who are stuck on a spaceship together. If we’re going to get picky about genres, this obviously falls into the romance category (okay, maybe I’m biased because I’m a romance writer).
The first character we are introduced to is Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), an engineer who is traveling to a colony on another planet. The whole journey should take 120 years, and all the passengers are cryogenically frozen in their capsules so they don’t age. But Jim has a problem. Due to a technical glitch, he wakes up from his artificial sleep, and he is now stranded all alone with a 90 year journey ahead of him and no one to talk to but an android bartender.
Basically, Jim is screwed. He tries to send a message back to earth, but realizes it will take years to arrive and even longer to receive a response. He tries to come to terms with being alone for the rest of his life while the other sleeping passengers continue on their journey, but he’s only human. He decides to wake up one other passenger to keep him company.
Of course, he just happens to pick a very attractive and charming young woman named Aurora Lane played by Jennifer Lawrence. He “gets to know her” by watching video footage where she talks about herself and why she wanted to go on this journey in the first place. We get a glimpse of a life that is outwardly glamorous but is missing something… someone to love perhaps?
Is Jim’s decision morally shady and reprehensible? Absolutely. Even more so, considering that he pretends that Aurora’s waking up was an accident and doesn’t tell her the truth, allowing her the time to befriend him and fall for him. Are we supposed to easily forgive him? I don’t think so. But in the end, we are asked to forgive him, and I think we can understand his position. It would be hard to say what any of us would do in his situation.
One critic called this a “sick wish-fulfillment fantasy” since Aurora is basically like Jim’s captive, her destiny controlled by him, the life she had chosen taken away. But for me, the more interesting part was what this story-line said about monogamy. The question it asks is, would it be possible to love someone and stay sane for the rest of your life if you had no other people around you, just the two of you?
This film was completely entertaining and engrossing throughout. It wasn’t very philosophically deep, but the simple message that it conveyed was articulated in an exciting and romantic story. I actually watched it on an international flight, and being a passenger, it was eerily relatable.
Despite the latter half of the film being somewhat typical Hollywood action stuff, it didn’t have that soulless quality for me that sometimes accompanies blockbuster films. There was a sense of humanity in it. I enjoyed it all the more not knowing what its proper genre was supposed to be or where this wild ride was taking me.
Not so coincidentally, the message of this movie is about relinquishing our very understandable human need to control our destiny. Sometimes, we’re just passengers in life, and things will take a strange turn, but the important thing is how we deal with it. If we know the exact genre of a film, we can probably predict the ending and feel more in control, but sometimes it’s good to let go and enjoy the ride.
About Carolee: I’m the author of several erotic romance stories and novels, though I occasionally moonlight as a film critic. Also I’m completely obsessed with Italian greyhounds.
Connect with Carolee:
Blog – https://caroleecroft.wordpress.com/
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Carolee-Croft/e/B01HMT0AEC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Twitter – https://twitter.com/CaroleeCroft
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/caroleecroft/
Guest Bloggger

  1. Fantastic critique. I shall check out this film with this lovely review and I do like Jennifer Lawrence. Thanks Carolee 🙂

  2. Excellent guest post, Carolee, and lovely to see you here on Esme’s blog 🙂 I haven’t seen the film but now I’m thinking I want to as it sounds like it really does delve into human relationships and our desire to control our futures. Plus, I like the actors in it!

    • Christy please let us know your feedback once you had the opportunity to watch it

    • I’m so excited that you’re going to watch it! It’s really fun, and I like Jennifer Lawrence too ever since I saw her in this movie and Silver Linings Playbook.

  3. Great post, Carolee. I liked that film (despite what critics said) and thought that it raised some great moral and “what it means to be human” issues. It definitely didn’t deserve the hammering it got from the critics. Everyone wants a formula — romantic or science-fi or whatever. No one wants to have to think.

  4. Great review post. I’ve seen this several times and found it quite a fascinating dynamic. Failing starship wakes up Jim. You identify with his plight as he’s alone about from a mechanical bartender. His low point is considering suicide by opening an airlock. Realising its a mistake he panics and runs through the ship stumbling next to the chamber housing Aurora. Then we have the moral dilemma. Suicidal and lonely, or wake her up to share his fate. Dying of old age on a sleeping passenger ship taking them to a new world long before anyone else wakes up.
    However, the grip in that potential manslaughter issue is that the ship is critically failing. If he hadn’t woke her then the whole ship would fail, thus killing everyone. I enjoyed it as a film personally and, like Carolee, liked the ride.
    Caveat, I can be terrible in film critic if the plot sucks and the characters are weak 🙂

    • Gary, thank you so much for your insightful comment. ♥ ♥ your input on this post.

      • You’re welcome Esme, I’m quite getting into film reviews. I see it s developing my writer head! Saw this and just had to pop over as I rather like this film. I’ve also started warming to the Dark Tower film too and am itching to point out some of the critics don’t know what they are talking about 😁

    • That’s a really good point, Gary. It was definitely not an easy decision for Jim. And I think it was fate for her to wake up and save the ship. Glad you liked the film too!

      • ♥ ♥

      • Thanks Carolee, I’ve found recently that since I started writing that I’m looking at films differently now. Maybe more critically from character perspectives. I got Jim’s character quite quickly in terms of the despair and isolation, giving up and how it might lead to suicidal thoughts. I also figured choosing Aurora was chance after the airlock suicide failure. It could have been any female chamber I guess, but here he landed with her by accident. I thought the plot developed, or had to, there because it needed two people to save the ship and the engineer to direct them. The middle was crafted to ignite romance and betrayal once she found out he deliberately broke her stasis chamber. By the end she realised he wasn’t all bad and would sacrifice himself to save everyone else knowing they’d never actually ever know him. I thought it worked really well 😊

  5. Good review and I would probably wake up the most exciting sounding/ fittest man to keep me company….Well there really is only so many books you can read…lol

  6. Reblogged this on Carolee Croft and commented:
    I’m doing a guest post today on The Recipe Hunter. Many thanks to Esmé for hosting me and letting me do a film review since I don’t have a recipe of my own…

  7. Thanks very much for hosting me, Esme!

    • My absolute pleasure and delight to share your review. Just drop me a note should you wish to do another post in future. 💐

    • Aw Carolee, I even tweeted this and never got put in twitter jail xx Great to see you here and with a film post. You know me and films xx

      • I am sure I have ‘gremlins’ at work. I am having a hard time to reply. Not sure what’s up. Thanks for your comment Shehanne. I am the fortunate and lucky one to have so many wonderful and diverse bloggers here over at The Recipe Hunter to share and Guest Post.

      • Thanks for reading, dear Shey! I always like getting your opinions on films and TV too. I think if I didn’t have the fiction writing bug, I would be a film reviewer, if only somebody paid me to do it 🙂

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