Sunday, February 12, 2023

VIKING (2022) Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2023


Man volunteers to be part of a secret mission that parallels a trip to Mars. While the astronauts speed to the red planet he, and four others who match up with the astronauts will stay on earth in isolation and help work out how to deal with problems and conflicts that are arising on the mission.

Low key humor mixes with human drama as we live life in multiple locations and learn about life here on earth.

This film is blew me away. I was knocked off my feet early on as a bunch of misfits work hard trying to live their lives as well as the lives of other people. It’s a weird balancing act that results in a deeply resonant and moving film that has haunted me in the weeks since I saw it.

Where did this film come from and why isn’t anyone talking about it? I say this because this quiet film has so much to say about life as we live it that I can’t imagine it nor rocking the world of anyone who sees it.

Taking it’s place among the very best true science fiction films, VIKING reveals itself to not be about the mission but instead it’s all about the people and the human condition. Truthfully the film is only tangentially a science fiction film because the mission is something we never see. It’s all off screen. Yes the people on the mission are characters but we never really meet them. We see their messages but mostly we know them through their on earth counterparts, who are not really them. On earth a man is the only woman on the mission. Two women are earth are the men. We kind of see them…while at the same time the fragmented nature reflects back at us and we see ourselves on screen. It sounds weird but it makes perfect sense.  

It's all deeply moving, especially as events turn and we see how the connects are effected.

This film is really not like any other film I remember seeing. It is a film that seems so simple but the more I think about the twists and turns keeps opening itself up into something special.

I loved this film.

If you can go in and just let the film be, with out expectations, knowing there are no big fireworks you will fall in love too.

One the truly great films of 2023

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