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English Movie Review : Oblivion – Average Sci- Fi Drama
Oblivion Release date : 12 April 2013 Rating : 3/5
Director : Joseph Kosinski
Producer : Joseph Kosinski, Peter Chernin
Music Director : Anthony Gonzalez, Joseph Trapanese
Starring : Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough

Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman are the lead actors in ‘Oblivion’, a sci-fi drama which has been directed by Joseph Kosinski. Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough play the female leads in the movie and Claudio Miranda is the cinematographer. The film has released today in India in a reasonably big way, since Tom Cruise is quite popular here. Let us see how the movie is.

Story :

After the nuclear fallout resulting from a war between humans and the Alien life forms known as Scavs, Earth is deserted. The surviving humans move to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. The humans leave behind Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), a drone maintenance specialist, and his companion Victoria (Andrea Riseborough).  Jack services the drones and assists his forces in the clean up operations on Earth. Though he leads a happy life with Victoria, he is plagued by vague memories of a past – a past that he cannot piece together.

Towards the end of his mission, Jack witnesses a spaceship’s crash and rescues a mysterious woman named Julia Rusakova (Olga Kurylenko) from the wreckage. Julia’s mysterious arrival changes many things in Jack’s life.

He finds out some shocking truths about the alien life forms known as Scavs and about himself. His life is thrown out of gear when he realises that he is being played in a high stakes game for the control of the earth’s resources.

What is that game? Who is Julia Rusakova? What is Jack Harper really up to?

Plus Points :

Tom Cruise gives a decent performance as Jack Harper. He does what is required of him and looks comfortable in the film’s action sequences. Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough look good.

The film has beautiful visuals and that is no surprise since Claudio Miranda is in charge of things. The Academy Award winner’s cinematography is a major asset for the movie. The portrayal of historical landmarks in a dilapidated state is pretty realistic.

The film has some very cool gadgets and futuristic equipment that will appeal to gadget lovers and tech enthusiasts.

There are one or two decent action sequences that have been shot well. Towards the end, Tom Cruise comes face to face with someone who is quite similar (Don’t want to reveal the twist) and that sequence has been conceived well.

Minus Points :

The plot has many similarities to films like ‘The Matrix’, ‘Independence Day’ and ‘Total Recall’. There is nothing new or innovative in the plot or in the film’s execution. For a big budget sci-fi movie featuring Tom Cruise, that is a bit of a letdown.

The climax sequence, in particular, will seem like a straight lift from ‘Independence Day’. Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough do not have very good roles in the film. Morgan Freeman is wasted in a badly written character.

Tom Cruise outwits the futuristic and highly advanced drones and other weapons systems quite easily and rather unconvincingly. Come on Tom, an advanced Alien race is definitely more intelligent that that.

If you go in looking for entertainment or loads of futuristic action sequences, you will be sorely disappointed. The pace of the film can get quite slow.

Technical Aspects :

I have already written about Claudio Miranda’s superb cinematography. Editing could have been better. Anthony Gonzalez and Joseph Trapanese have provided the background score and they have done a neat job.

Visual Effects are very good and deserve applause. Joseph Kosinski’s direction is a big letdown.

Verdict :

Despite some stunning visuals, cool gadgets and a big star cast, ‘Oblivion’ ends up as a surprisingly mediocre film. Too many similarities to popular sci-fi films of the past and a slow pace never let the film take off. Casual entertainment seeking viewers and action film lovers will be disappointed. You may give it a shot, but don’t go in with high expectations. Rating – 3/5

Reviewed by Mahesh S Koneru

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