When I was a small child I was a total space nerd. I loved to learn everything I possibly could about the Universe we live in and of course I was naturally interested in the story of how mankind walked on the Moon for the first time in history. I was excited to see First Man so I could see this story told on the big screen.
The intro scene is simultaneously beautiful and stressful but most importantly it sets the scene for what’s to come later in the movie. It gives you a taste of the view of an Astronaut that will tide you over until we see it again. The rest of the Astronaut scenes were fantastic too but we’ll get to those soon. I just wanted to state how well First Man draws you in from the beginning.
There were a lot of themes that I didn’t think about before going into the theatre. I expected to see Neil Armstrong and his mission to the Moon as an almost fairy tale like adventure (but with more maths). I never thought about the pressures from both society and Neil’s own family. The big question of “is sending a man to the Moon really worth all of this trouble?” Now I’m still asking that question almost 50 years later.
First Man gives a really insightful look into the everyday life of the best astronauts in the world back then. Growing up, like everyone, I of course knew the story of the first man on the Moon but it’s such a glorified story. The movie shows the viewers all of the hard work, the grueling tasks and the aforementioned societal pressure. You very quickly start to realise Neil is not just some guy that puts on a suit and goes to the Moon. Suddenly you shift from wishing you could be just like Neil to asking yourself how anyone could live like that.
Of course the big reason many people will see this movie is the lunar landing and for good reason. At this stage you are completely aware of how dangerous these missions can be and what it looks like when they go wrong. It’s a strange feeling gripping your seat from the anticipation of what’s going to happen when you know what the outcome will be.
Everything about the Moon was shot perfectly. It really captured the feeling of opening a door to somewhere that has never been travelled to in the history of mankind. Speaking of mankind, the small step / giant leap had a really gentle and relaxing feeling to it which again exceeds expectations that it was some epic one liner.
Overall the entire movie is a great look into the journey of the most famous Astronaut of all time. It had a really unique quality of answering a lot of questions I had yet leaving me with several more that I could ponder over the days to follow.
Running Time: 141 MIN
Genre: Action, Drama
Director: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Ciarán Hinds, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, Lukas Haas
Production Studio: Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment, Phantasma
Distributor: Universal Pictures