Film Review: Jupiter’s Moon (2017).

Jupiter's Moon

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 4/5.

Author: Feargal Agard | Runtime: 123 min. | Director: Kornél Mundruczó | Year: 2017.

Jupiter’s Moon is an absolutely riveting film. This film brings the impossible to the screen in a very captivating an almost magical way. The aesthetics are very surprisingly well done. You immediately notice that the director carefully planned out and made choices that make this film a pleasure to watch.

Jupiter’s Moon takes place during the recent mass influx of Syrian refugees who flee from a world of war hoping to find a safe place in Europe. When Aryan (Zsombor Jéger), a young Syrian refugee, attempts to cross the Hungarian border, he is shot several times by the police. Soon after, he miraculously gets up and discovers that he is able to fly. Stern (Merab Ninidze) who is the physician who’s been trying to save Aryan’s life sees the young man’s gift and decides to take him under his wing. He helps Aryan out, but also partly reveals that he has a double agenda as they go around town visiting people who’ll certainly give money after they’ve seen Aryan’s gift of levitating and flying. On the other hand, there is the police officer László (György Cserhalmi) who could not find the body of the young man that he shot. He investigates and is early on confronted with Aryan’s survival of several gunshots and his newly obtained supernatural powers. László is determined to capture Aryan to get an explanation and to arrest him for illegal entry into Hungary. Will Aryan escape László’s grasp and make a life for himself, or will he end up arrested, prosecuted and deported?

Jupiter’s Moon was directed by Kornél Mundruczó and the screenplay was written by Kata Weber. It is a Hungarian drama film that competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. The narrative plays with fantasy and fantastical elements, religious symbolism and a lot of action. Thematically it deals with god issues and a belief in the impossible. The director treats the subject of refugees and the way that particular governments handle this situation. Bringing up corruption and selfishness, but fortunately, the film also discusses change and hope. Because people who lost hope regain are able to regain it again. The film stars Merab Ninidze, György Cserhalmi, Mónika Balsai, Zsombor Jéger, Péter Haumann and Tamás Szabó Kimmel.

The characters perform in a most believable way, but Zsombor Jéger seems to bring things to a different level. Although his performances are very believable it is as if he brings something otherworldly to the film stage. At first, he seems like a gullible and quite clueless person. Then again who would not be clueless if you suddenly discover that you can levitate yourself into the sky. But he later grows into a determined and strongwilled person who is set on protecting the ones he cares for. His ultimate mission is to survive.

The cinematography is beautiful and done in a fantastical, but original way. Especially the floating is done in such a peculiar and interesting manner. It is clear that the director did not strive to create the standard perfect realistic Hollywood type of floating. Instead, he makes it seems realistic, but very unnatural and awkward. You’d almost think that the main character doesn’t have actual control of what he is doing, which in a sense is the case. Because of that, it makes it more relatable, because in reality its not possible to levitate. Next to that, the camera work was fantastic. It perfectly turned around the main character allowing you to experience what he is experiencing and enhancing the feel of how impossible it is to levitate and yet he does.

The tone and the feel of the film are absolutely riveting. The music is awkward and alien-like. The tone of the film is quite dark and tense as it reveals a world where hope doesn’t seem to appear at the end of the tunnel and the main characters are in a race against the clock. Before they end up being caught by the law enforcers who are in pursuit of them. The mood in the film was quite grim and gray at times. Both Aryan and Stern are in deep trouble. Even though they find their moments of joy and an elevated state of higher purpose.

In conclusion, Jupiter’s Moon prepossessing film that shows you a glimpse of all the complex corrupt and selfish situations that occur around the refugee crisis, but it also shows that we need something that is way above us to become better people and to understand each other in order to advance. This film is an absolute recommendation to anyone with a curious mind and a need to escape our reality.

In Dutch theatres as from the 2nd of November 2017.

Genre: Drama, fantasy, action | Languages: English, Hungarian | Dutch Distributor: FilmFreak.

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