I saw this movie last night and then turned around and saw it again. I was glad I could because otherwise I wouldn't have slept. I would have ended up lying awake and thinking about the film all night.
For those of you who don't know, SERENITY is a movie that continues the story of the characters of the now-cancelled television show 'Firefly'. I have two coworkers who are voracious 'Firefly' fans and have heard a lot about the opening of this film. However, I had managed to avoid learning anything about it. 'Firefly' was advertized as a space western, which immediately turned me off to it. I wanted nothing to do with the cheesy self-congradulatory potential of a western in space. I thought it would be shallow and poorly made. I went to the movie with Brooklyn (who has been talking about it for months) with a Episode III mentality. As long as it didn't suck I would be content.
I was not content. This movie had so much depth and humanity that I wasn't prepared for it. Walking into the middle of a completely new world and nine complex human beings was startling and engaging and confusing. It was also facinating. I strongly recommend this movie. And, in the interest of helping all those who aren't converted to the way of 'Firefly', I'm going to offer you a few bits of information so you won't have to watch it twice in a row.
- If you can't understand what the people are saying, it's because they aren't speaking English. There is a strong Asian influence to the culture of this universe. Which, if one assumes mankind left Earth because we were too crowded, makes sense. Apparently the premise is, by the time we're that crowded, the only Superpower nation still in existance is China. So all the slang and bad words are in Chinese. If you don't know what they're saying, it's okay. Assume they're talking trash or telling someone to be quiet and move on.
- If all the beautiful planets have beautiful cities and are in the center of the system, all the outer planets have primitive settlements and aren't pretty at all. Folks from the outer rim are, in essence, frontiersmen and as such use a lot of double negatives. They aren't rich, they aren't educated, and they aren't hung up on respecting authority.
- There are a lot of interpersonal things going on that you don't know about. Don't worry about it. You'll figure it out.
- Because this show was originally on television, the costuming is intended to communicate status and preferences using traditional symbols. What I mean to say is all the clothing is a whole lot like ours. Most sci-fi things have elaborate and different clothing to reinforce the 'alien' or 'different' bits of the future. Not SERENITY. Men here still wear neckties. (Which, were I a man, I'd get rid of almost instantly. Why wear a noose if you don't have to?) Basically, when you look at someone and you think you know who and what they are based on their clothing, you're right. And, while you're looking, notice the blend of Western, Chinese, and Japanese clothing styles. It's interesting.
- This movie is like life. There are no easy answers and no easy solutions so don't expect them. This is what makes it good.