Film Review: The Space Between Us

A well-intentioned plot, some none-too-brilliant casting and more than a few gauche movements are what make up The Space Between Us, a film set in the near future. Innovative entrepreneur Nathaniel Shepherd (British veteran Gary Oldman) brings to fruition his long-cherished dream of setting up a human colony in neighbouring planet Mars. The only hiccup occurs when chief astronaut Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery), soon thereafter, delivers the first child born on Mars, but tragically dying in childbirth. Fearing a public backlash, it’s a secret kept from earthlings.

Fast forward 16 years. Gardner (Asa Butterfield), a lanky 16-year-old, who’s been brought up on Mars by guardian Kendra (Carla Gugino), and who’s formed a covert online friendship with Tulsa (Britt Robertson) returns to Earth to find his father, with just a photo and a ring as clues. Even as the film picks up momentum from hereon, there are gawky moments galore. Tulsa, with no family to call her own, and brought up in foster homes excels in riding bikes and crop dusters, playing the piano and is also a techno wizard. When the two meet up (Tulsa clearly looking more than a tad older than the 16-year-old), The Space Between Us transforms into a cross-country road movie, with the two taking in the sights and sounds of Planet Earth, besides sharing a soft spot for each other even as Nathaniel and the NASA personnel are in hot pursuit of the two.

As gravitational romance blossom and the two are on the trail of his father, Gardner learns that his over-enlarged heart is not acclimatized for Earth. Director Chelsom allows the film to linger awkwardly till Gardner’s father’s identity is revealed. An average script and pedestrian dialogues (‘no matter how much I want Earth, Earth doesn’t want me’) more than negate what could have been an above-average film.

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