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Trivia / Goofs
Times of India
Gardner Elliot is the first human born on Mars — an intelligent and inquisitive young boy who travels to Earth as he tries to find his father, and goes on to experience the wonders of the planet for the first time.
From the synopsis, it would appear this unusual yet alluring premise would be an intriguing watch. The initial setup is engrossing as it portrays the life of the first ‘genuine’ Martian. However, as soon as he lands on Earth, the sci-fi is relegated to fantasy as the lead pair embarks on a road trip, which doubles as an allegory for self-discovery – a tired trope that quickly loses steam. The narrative tries to juggle between what it means to be human, Elliot’s search for his father and his romance with Tulsa, but ends up focusing primarily on the latter.
For the most part, the performances of the key players are engrossing. The vast experience of both Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino is showcased as they suitably anchor the plot, although the latter is arguably underutilised as a maternal figure. Oldman knows precisely where to hold back and when to let go, thereby stealing every scene he’s in. Asa Butterfield as Gardner Elliot is perfectly cast as the lanky, fish-out-of-water Martian who gives an invested performance and even when tasked with lines worthy of eye-rolls, delivers them with all the sincerity he can muster. His Earthbound counterpart Tulsa played by Britt Robertson, ends up being out of place as the street-smart, precocious girl with a tough exterior. Robertson pushes her character beyond a confident young woman to merely annoying territory.
Their inevitable meeting is where the movie begins to falter. It’s not a far stretch to take cinematic liberties, but they’re usually ignored as gripping action, intriguing narratives and brilliant performances captivate audiences. However, that suspension of disbelief is a tall order in the absence of all the above, and becomes a mammoth task in a sci-fi flick with more fiction than science. What could have been a fascinating exploration of a young boy whose limited interaction with people leads him to discover the nuances of human nature, ends up being a predictable crowd-pleaser with a plot twist thrown in merely to prolong the ‘awwws’.
As ‘The Space Between Us’ resorts to generic pandering by catering to its core demographic of teens and young adults looking for a date movie around Valentine’s Day, the real space ends up being between a great concept on paper, and its actualisation on screen.
‘The Space Between Us’ was initially titled ‘Out of This World’.
This is actor Asa Butterfield’s second sci-fi film after ‘Ender’s Game’.
‘The Space Between Us’ was shot at a school in Albuquerque, during school hours.