Jeri Jacquin

Currently streaming on Netflix from director Johan Renck based on Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar is the store of the loneliest SPACEMAN.

Commander Jakub Prochazka (Adam Sandler) is a Czech astronaut on a space mission to learn more about the intergalactic dust around Venus. At home is his wife Lenka (Carey Mulligan) who he waits to hear from daily. Commissioner Tuma (Isabella Rossellini) monitors all of the incoming and outgoing messages of the couple and when a serious one is received, Tuma decides that Jakub should not know about it. Sending their astronaut out to do what other countries would not, Tuma is not going to jeopardize it all.

Everyone notices that Jakub is having a hard time but he tries to continue with a daily routine maintaining the ship. Then something strange happens inside the capsule. Jakub discovers there is another passenger on the ship and is stunned that mission control does not see it on the cameras. Coming to terms with his all-out fear, Jakub now becomes curious as the creature lets him know that it is curious about the spaceman’s humanity, loneliness and Lenka.

Getting to understand one another, Jakub names the creature Hanus (Paul Dano) and another journey begins, one of emotions and understanding. A strange friendship is happening on the way to Chopra cloud. Jakub begins to understand his life and the wonders of it all through the eyes of an unusual friend.

We should all be so lucky.

Sandler as Jakub is a man wanting to fulfill his mission to Venus but in the process, he breaks a promise to wife Lenka. That is something that not only causes his marriage to be in jeopardy but is a sore subject when Hanus brings it up time and again. This is a Sandler we haven’t seen before but it’s a perfect time for him to arrive at this point in space. He gives us a performance where he carries not only the film but the emotion that won’t let us rest until the very end – and probably farther if I’m being honest.

Mulligan as Lenka is not happy about Jakub’s decision to take the mission because of a promise he made to her. Upset, the message she sends is something Hanus is curious about what she is feeling and going through. Mulligan gives us a woman going through her own emotional process of wanting the life she loved and the life Jakub is confined her to by his space journey.

I am giving such a serious shout out to Paul Dano as Hanus. His voice is soothing and non-threatening even when his character is calling out Jakub’s flaws. Wrapped up in this creature’s body, there is one scene where listening to him talk about the beginning and ending of everything is soulful, tearful and so beautiful I don’t believe I will ever forget it.

Other cast include Kunal Nayyar as Peter and Lena Olin as Zdena.

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If you are looking for the wise-cracking comedic Adam Sandler then you are looking at the wrong film. This film is a deep, intense story of a man who had to go in the deepest darkest place in space to find beauty and the answers of his life. Sandler is absolutely stunning in this role as a man who befriends a creature as they teach and learn from one another.

I must tell you that tissue is a must because the story of a man in space and a wife on earth that every scene will complete gut you. There are scenes where Sandler just completely emotionally eviscerates to the point of physical pain in the chest – at least for me. There is also intensity with the relationship between Jakub and Hanus until the very last frame and I am here for every second.

The space cinematography is, pardon the pun, stellar, so colorful and moving. There is an such emotion attached to seeing the beauty in space and Sandler brings it up close and personal to us with his reaction. I got to give it to the character of Hanus and Dano’s voice when he speaks once they get to the dust near Venus.

This is a complete journey and nothing one would expect but everything a film lover would want from this unexpected space story. When a film can move, delight, surprise and keep us talking after – now that’s a film that should have been in theatres but I’m thrilled I experienced it in the comfort of my own home (so no one could see me teary eyed!).

In the end – they are on the doorstep of the universe!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.