Film has a way of capturing and exuding several emotions all at once. It does so with a combination of imagery and sound. Oftentimes, it is able to spark multiple feelings within viewers–feelings that may contrast, yet are directly linked to one another. Love, an art-house sci-fi film by alternative rock band Angels & Airwaves and director William Eubank, manages to do just that. The film has a way of capturing its viewers and having its way with their emotions–in a good way.
Love tells the story of astronaut Lee Miller, who has been sent to investigate the International Space Station in the year 2039. At first, everything is business as usual. Miller devises a daily routine where he exercises, reads, and does research. He is in constant contact with Earth and is continuously communicating with the higher-ups at his base. However, he soon loses contact and is left to his own devices.
Initially, Miller attempts to repair his communication equipment, but it isn’t long before he discovers that he is completely isolated and devoid of human interaction. Miller’s concern then turns into frustration, and he begins to question whether the whole thing is some sort of warped experiment. Still, he proceeds to live a daily life of solitude among the stars. It is at this point that you begin to see a change in Miller’s outlook. No longer is he the calm and collected astronaut that he was in the beginning of the film. Instead, you slowly begin to see his sanity slip away.
Miller is soon haunted by strange nightmares and hallucinations, and he repeatedly talks to himself. At times, it seems like something only the insane would do, but given his circumstances, it makes complete sense. After all of the loneliness Miller has experienced, it’s understandable that he would want to interact with someone, even if that someone is himself. Love does a good job of portraying Miller as an isolated individual, and at times, it’s hard to distinguish if he’s going insane or is just incredibly desperate for human interaction.
Love follows Miller along through his personal journey, and it does an excellent job of telling a tale about a man who is stuck in space with absolutely no contact with the human world. The film boldly conveys several emotions, and it does so almost flawlessly. One moment you feel upset and a bit depressed due to the protagonist’s situation. The next, you feel overjoyed that you’re not currently experiencing a complete withdrawal from all of humanity, and you cherish the idea of social interaction. There were several moments during the film where I genuinely wanted someone to go up there and rescue the poor guy, because I could tell he was miserable. Every day that he was up in the space station was another day of horrid torture and loneliness.
Love manages to provide a beautiful, yet haunting movie experience. Visually, it is a brilliantly aesthetic masterpiece, and its imagery constantly emphasizes the feeling of being lonesome. Lighting effects are impressive, camera angles are effective, and the dynamic scenes add to the overall desperation of the movie. Love’s independent look and artsy style bleed through successfully. Any fan of art-house films should be able to instantly see the appeal in the movie’s visual aim.
Throughout the movie, you can hear instrumental versions of various songs by Angels & Airwaves, and due to the band’s constant spacey sound, these themes fit perfectly with the environment and tone of Love. Like the visual aspect, the sound effects in the movie elicit a horribly and tragically lonesome emotion.
Love, with all of its themes of being cast away from other life, is no happy-go-lucky film. On the contrary, the movie is quite sad, and it constantly makes you think about life outside the comfort zone. What if you were torn apart from all other humans? What if you were left alone, taken away from your loved ones? As far as human interaction goes, how bad would life really be if you were forced out of your surroundings and all of the positive and negative elements within them? Love makes you think, and it makes you wonder about being separated from the good in your life just as much as being forced apart from the bad.
In the end, Love is a wonderful journey of self-exploration. While watching the movie, countless questions raced through my mind. I thought about how scary life could be if my sister and good friend–who were both sitting next to me in the theater–weren’t nearby. I thought about how difficult it would be to never see my friends and family again. I thought about all of the people in my life who aren’t very pleasant, but it certainly made me appreciate my loved ones a hell of a lot more. While watching Love, I thought about what it would be like to lose all contact with those individuals (even the annoying ones).
Love makes you think, and it makes you appreciate. With its wondrous imagery and ethereal sound, it really captures you. No, this isn’t a big-budget movie, and you can tell. That said, it’s still a sheer joy to behold because it is both ambitious and meaningful. Of course, Love isn’t for everyone. If you enjoy big action sequences, incredibly romantic moments, and hectic dialogue scenes, you’ll probably grow bored of the movie soon after it starts. However, if you have an appreciation for unique movies, fancy yourself a big movie buff, or consider yourself a big Angels & Airwaves fan, Love is an epic ride all the way through that’s most certainly worth watching.
I would also like to point out that this one-night film screening featured several additional bonuses for Angels & Airwaves fans. Prior to the movie, four character vignettes were played along with music from the band. After the end credits rolled, Angels & Airwaves performed three of their songs live (the band was actually playing at a screening in Boston, and the performance was aired across all theaters). Directly following that, lead singer Tom Delonge answered fans’ questions along with the director and star actor in Love. The whole event was finalized with the world premier of the music video for “Anxiety,” a track off the band’s upcoming album Love Part II. Overall, Love was an awesome experience, and something any Angels & Airwaves fan could appreciate.
Fans of the band’s work can expect the full release of Love on November 11, 2011, when Angels & Airwaves will include both the first Love album and Love Part II as part of a set along with the movie. If you didn’t get the chance to watch Love in theaters for its one-night showing on August 10, be sure to watch out for the official release. This is one incredible journey that should not be missed.