Let’s face it: films about terminal health issues, as a rule, are full of laborious emotional manipulations. The health issue in question is primarily used as a plot device rather than plunging into an exploration of the figure’s mortality of the protagonist in question. Our friend by Gabriela Cowperthwaite was a new film that used terminal cancer as a conspiracy device and spectacularly manipulated the members of her audience through false-emotional arcs. I admit that I was quite skeptical when I dived into Harry Macqueen’s supernova, which tells the story of a couple traveling to the UK to visit their friends. Tusker (Stanley Tucci) has been diagnosed with dementia and is slowly losing his ability to remember, while Sam (Colin Firth) wants to share what remains of Tusker’s “memories” before he dies, which Sam is unwilling to treat. However, there is never a moment when Supernova plunges into a cheesy, poorly written melodrama full of inexpensive manipulations and clichés, but is rather an incredibly heartbreaking portrait of a couple forced to slowly let go with impeccable performances at the base.
There’s no way Supernova would have been as good as it was for its incredibly close and human performances of Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as Sam and Tusker, respectively. Both bring a raw sense of humanity to the characters, and many of the film’s most enticing sequences are transmitted through this ” humanity.”Harry Macqueen understands that the public does not need to see explicitly that Tucci’s Tusker has dementia and his memory is slowly moving away. Most of Tusker’s psychological anxiety is told through facial expressions: a dark face, an eye that looks the other way, or a general sense of discomfort from Tusker’s perception of his future with Sam gives the audience everything they need to know about Sam’s condition. Most of the film’s best action moments are transmitted through the facial expressions of Tucci and Firth-and Macqueen’s penchant for implicitly and not explicitly portraying Tusker’s condition makes the characters feel FANTASTICALLY human and never use them as emotional intrigue devices.
Instead, emotion comes naturally, with a sequence that can move the entire direction of the film from a simple, romantic drama to a heartbreaking depiction of loss and” letting go.”Macqueen presents the humanity of Sam and Tusker during the first half of the film. They are both esteemed and very successful people among their friends and in England. Tusker is an author, while Sam is a pianist. Tusker can no longer remember reading or writing, which makes the scene where Sam is forced to read his speech particularly heartbreaking. During the first half of the supernova, the film moves at a fast pace, but does not quite reach the emotional level that it should aspire to. However, everything changes when Sam finds a hidden bottle of pentobarbital and learns that the love of his life plans to finish himself before his condition worsens further. Here, the supernova rises into the sky and becomes something much deeper than the original premise suggests.
The conversation that precedes Sam’s learning of Tusker’s plans shows Macqueen’s mastery of treating a dark subject like self-destruction with extreme care and emotion. It develops more Sam’s love for Tusker and is never used as a inexpensive conspiracy device for pure treatment. We as humans are all done and will suffer a loss at some point in our lives. Mortality is part of the great circle of life, and the way we deal with our impending doom (or someone else’s) is something we don’t want to think about, but we may have to. Supernova brilliantly reminds the public of our mortality-that as humans we are not permanent and must make the most of what we have to enjoy every breath of life while being healthy and strong before a serious illness or passed away devastates us. Sam takes for granted the last moments he will have with Tusker, thinking that his goal is to take care of him until his passed away. However, Tusker does not want this. He wants to end his life on his terms, remembering who he is, and not what he will become.
This moment is the most heartbreaking part of supernova. He reminds the public that we do not control our lives and that we must focus on his most positive moments, even in the face of terrible adversity, or in this matter the knowledge that our individuality and clarity are slowly being deprived by a health issue that we do not control. The final scene of the film, where Sam plays Edward Elgar’s “Salut D’Amour” in front of an audience, includes all his love for Tusker in a musical performance. Tormented by an almost insurmountable amount of grief and guilt over how he ignored Tusker’s plans, Sam lays out all his emotions through music in the most harrowing finale of any film released this year. Supernova may not be a movie for everyone, as it deals with fairly serious topics such as self-destruction, passed away, and the treatment of impending grief, but the movie is a necessary consideration to remind everyone how finished we are and must enjoy every moment of our lives to the fullest before it’s too late. Do yourself a favor and immediately praise this film. You won’t contrition it.