Watched May 16, 2012
Owen Hughes’s review:
First introduced to the concept of this film when reading a book called "Why Aren't They Here?: The Question of Life on Other Worlds" by Surendra Verma. It discusses, amongst other things, how the human race will one day, possibly, make contact with other intelligent lifeforms in the Universe. One of the methods it presents as being practically impossible to do this would be through radio contact (as described in this film/book it is adapted from).
However! This film sure as hell goes into a lot of detail about just how you would do that. It's laboured full of what could easily be believed to be real and accurate scientific methods/techniques.
The characters, the acting, the story almost.. it's all a bit false and at times quite uninteresting save for the way it constantly balances the film on a knifes edge as to whether or not it is "real" or a hoax of some kind. Even right up until the very end, you're still not sure how much of it is genuine (within the context of the film, of course. I'm not insane.)
The major plus points of this film are the theories it introduces to the audience, however. It's very clever in doing so and definitely makes you think; about life, about death, about our significance in the universe. All that junk.
The love story angle, between daughter and father, woman and man, is handled with some degree of grace and it all relates to a wider, broader vision of the relationship between science and religion, so it's not exactly shoe-horned into the film. It fits. It works. But it's a little soppy at times.
I did enjoy watching this film overall. If it was a little less dry, and a little more exciting, I probably would've scored it higher. As it happens, you could quite easily sit and contemplate an idea the film introduces for 3 or 4 minutes, realise you've been daydreaming, then pick up where the film left off almost as if you haven't missed a thing at all. It doesn't hold your attention fantastically well, which is a shame, as I'm sure it has a lot to say deep down.