Solitary Image

Solitary

By Alan Ng | June 26, 2020

Now with the plot firmly set in place, director Armstrong explores the complexities of human nature. The debates the idea of human value…particularly the value we place on criminals. Just how fast is a rescue mission being developed on Earth? Our prisoners amazingly are contacted by the press and are faced with the whole “optics” of the situation. I mean, they are just criminals floating in space. Is this really a rush? Lastly, what’s the deal with Alana?

Solitary is it feels very much like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This comparison is a compliment as Trekkies would know. The drama is good, the questions it raises are thought-provoking, and the thriller ending is right there with TNG.

“His grounded performance is essential to keep heady sci-fi stories relatable.”

From an indie filmmaking standpoint, 90% of the movie is shot on a single set representing the interior of the shuttle. The outer space CG exteriors look great…again like TNG. Also, as this is a British production, the story plays out a little slow and with low energy that we, Americans, might have issues with considering our raging ADD. It is what it is.

The performances by Sachon and Tolhurst lends a great deal of credibility to this futuristic story. Sachon gives the much-needed authenticity of a man justly/unjustly convicted of a crime. His grounded performance is essential to keep heady sci-fi stories relatable. Tolhurst gives an equally impressive and multi-layered performance. Spoilers prevent me from saying more. My biggest beef is with the voice acting. It comes off as scripted and poorly done. It feels like it was done in post-production, and the actors were not given the chance the play against the main actors’ performance.

Solitary is worth a recommendation on its excellent story, accomplished special effects, and stellar performances from the lead actors. It’s an honest attempt to make a good sci-fi film and fulfills that task. It has interesting things to say about our future and the human condition, though I wish it had the budget to intensify the drama and thrills during the final act.

Solitary (2020)

Directed and Written: Luke Armstrong

Starring: Johnny Sachon, Lottie Tolhurst, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Solitary Image

"…feels very much like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation."

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