Written by Jonathan Brooks and Andrew McGee, Solus is a short dramatic science fiction tale with a relatively simple but harrowing premise. Commander Matthew Connor (Henry Douthwaite) is the only astronaut currently aboard the Internation Space Station (ISS). While the silence occasionally gets to him, he finds it peaceful.
Unfortunately, the serenity of the vastness of the universe is interrupted when Connor loses communication with anyone on Earth. This puts the space station into a free fall some 250 miles above the blue planet. Now, the rocket man must discover a way not to crash while trying to reestablish communication with Earth.
“…puts the space station into a free fall some 250 miles above the blue planet.”
Brooks directs Solus with a firm grasp on the tone and style. While the narrative throws a few curveballs (no spoilers), the stunning effects work and excellent production design will suck in viewers. The shots of space are magnificent, proving that a large budget isn’t needed to pull off award-worthy CGI. The lead’s costume looks authentic, while the ISS sets seem to engulf Connor, cementing his isolation, at every turn.
Douthwaite’s voice-over narration is a bit dry throughout the almost 13-minute runtime. But knowing that his character is an astronaut trained to remain cool and calm no matter the situation helps smooth this over. Even if one doesn’t frame Connor in that light, the technicals are so impressive that this is a minor problem.
Solus marks big things for Brooks on a directorial front. If he can accomplish all this in a short film with a small budget, imagine the wonders he’ll create, helming a studio tentpole with millions upon millions at his disposal. He should also keep collaborating with McGee, as the two clearly understand how to structure a screenplay.
For more information about Solus, visit its official site.
"…stunning effects work and excellent production design..."