ISS (2023) Movie review FROM 22nd Tribeca Film FestivalOR movie run by Gabrielle Cowperthwaitewritten by Nick Shafir and playing Ariana DeBose, Chris Messina, John Gallagher Jr., costa Ronin, Without Asbaek AND Masha Mashkova.
ISS is set around the International Space Station mentioned in the film’s title. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite has crafted an impressive thriller that is largely confined to a single setting. Oscar winner Ariana DeBose stars as Kira Foster, who along with Christian (John Gallagher Jr.) seeks to meet with some Russian scientists to uncover some exciting developments. Instead, Kira becomes involved in a tense game of cat-and-mouse as everyone aboard the film’s ship seems unsure of what they’re doing after a message is sent to the Russian and American characters in the picture, which says they must to take control of the ISS as chaos has occurred back on Earth.
DeBose, with short hair here, is one of our most beloved actresses and with her turn in this film she commands the respect and attention of the public. No actress of her generation has the versatility that DeBose has when it comes to adapting to almost any possible character. This part differs from her real persona, which viewers have seen at the Academy Awards and Tony Awards. DeBose is a true original as an artist and succeeds many times here as we root for her character throughout this film.
There are several Russian characters who become suspicious as the plot develops, and by the end of the film, DeBose’s Kira must decide whether to trust the resident Russian woman on board, Weronika Vetrov (a very well-crafted Masha Mashkova). Weronika may try to help Kira, but Kira’s uncertainty drives the plot forward as the audience will be kept in suspense wondering what will happen next.
Chris Messina is also present front and center in the film’s story line as an American named Gordon, who drives the plot forward when he sees a fire that is sure to shock the audience as Gordon first sets out to repair the damaged ship of the film.
John Gallagher Jr. is the most valuable player in terms of male characters in the film. He creates a character whose motives remain unclear to many of the other characters in the picture. When Kira asks him for a knife to cut her sandwich, director Cowperthwaite skillfully builds the suspense in an extremely intense way. Gallagher Jr. can scare audiences with the sheer unpredictability he aptly brings to his role.
The main character here, Kira, uses some rodents to experiment and they help bring their subjects along ISS in full view. ISS However, it’s a nail-biting thriller for the entire second half of the film, and that’s what most will remember. This is because we are not exactly sure what is happening on Earth, and the audience will surely feel the confusion that Kira and the other characters in the film feel during the course of events that are happening all the time.
Gordon and Veronica’s characters also have chemistry in the film, which raises the stakes and makes it harder to know who to trust. The themes of the film are excellent but the execution falters a bit in the final scenes leaving the viewer with a moderately successful ending. The film leaves a lot to the imagination of the viewer, but it is difficult to know how the director could have finished the picture, if not in this way. This is a cautionary tale and as such it succeeds. This makes the viewer question the necessity of scientific experimentation, when what is happening back home on Earth does not allow us to take sides so easily. There’s a lot of complexity to the story line here and a lot of food for thought afterwards.
ISS in the end it works thanks to DeBose’s wonderful performance. She makes this role her own and is like the voice of reason in the whole picture. She feels like the only person in the film that the audience can trust. This is due to DeBose’s likability and beautifully writing her character in a premise that is slightly undermined by its own ambitions.
still, ISS it is an exciting journey that must be taken. Movies like this can open up conversations about the premise and what might happen if this story actually happened in real life. As improbable as this plot is, the fact that the film comes across so realistically is a testament to its strength. You’ll be with DeBose’s character all the way through this picture, and that’s why it’s a successful effort overall.
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