Saturday, July 4, 2009


WARNING: Spoiler Alert!
On the surface, Moon is the classic story of corporate greed, albeit in this case in the name of environmental responsibility. But as it progresses, it raises the very uncomfortable issue of what it means to be human in an ever changing and more scientifically advanced world. However, in the end, Moon simply leaves open the question and does not offer an answer.

The film opens with Sam Bell nearing the end of his 3 year contract managing a new mining operation on the moon which has provided the entire planet an unlimited and environmentally friendly energy source. Sam's only companion is a computer/robotic system named GERTY, a friendly version of HAL 9000, who also acts as a gatekeeper between Sam and life outside of the mining base. GERTY's secondary function is to protect Sam at all costs. Unfortunately, GERTY can no longer protect Sam after he has an accident while doing routine maintenance of the mining equipment.

Sam's disturbing revelation begin after he wakes up after the accident and GERTY insists that he not leave the base until the clean up crew arrives. Sam's curiosity gets the better of him and he returns to the site of the accident to find a second person on the moon he had never seen before. However, the person looks exactly like Sam. In fact, after the second man regains consciousness, he claims he is Sam and that the 'Sam' who he rescued is a clone.

The two Sams begin a struggle to determine the truth behind their current situation. Due to a genetic variation, the first Sam is aware that he is a clone, while the second Sam is not. So begins the two Sam's journey to discover how the corporation has kept the lie going for so long and planning how to return to Earth and the loved ones they believe have been left behind.

The most painful moment in the film is not when second Sam forces GERTY to confirm he is a clone, but when he contacts his home on Earth and discovers that his baby daughter he has been longing to see for 3 years is actually 15 years old now and that his wife whose recorded video messages have kept him going, has been dead for several years. But even worse, is when the second Sam hears the original Sam's voice on the video message. In spite of knowing that he is a clones, and one who is running 15 years behind the original Sam, second Sam still feels the loss of his wife and the lost years with his daughter.

But how can a clone with only implanted memories have genuine feelings about something that he has no first hand knowledge or experience in? Can science supersede the core tenants of the human experience? These are the questions that Moon does not answer, but simply throws in your face for your own individual digestion.

This is the type of story that the Filmfreak Mafia is all about. Stories that do not preach, but instead force individual reflection, so that we each can find the meaning within for ourselves.

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