DIRECTOR - Jonathan Helpert
CAST - Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston
IO is a dystopian world story, where only 2 people are left on earth, and rest have left to live on a colony on IO,one of Jupiter’s Moon. Sounds similar? Yes, ‘WALL - E’, left alone on earth with all pile of dirt and garbage,and everyone has moved to a spaceship colony. Though, it contains lot of scientific facts and equipment, which makes this movie somewhat legitimate, but there’s an over-dramatic touch, which just spoils the story all over.
Netflix’s release IO, is a Sci-Fi dystopian world story, where Sam(Qualley) is a scientist testing to get proof of life on earth, though she and her father (Huston) are only people left, everyone has went to live on a colony on IO, a visitor (Mackie) arrives at their house, and story is all about how will they escape,and can they proof that life can exist on earth.
Though that’s not the first time we have heard that story, though places might change, for example, Martian (Lone person on Mars) or Wall-E (Lone robot on Earth), and many more movies have experimented with this storyline. Some focuses on scientific angle while some on ‘Value of Life’ , and they are successful on either side, but IO gets stuck between these two and just doesn’t come out as anything. Initially, it makes you interact with Sam, who is searching for life, and all the scientific things she is dealing with, then there’s her attachment to art and mythology,and its a very desperate attempt to amalgamate each other which is not convincing.
Margaret Qualley has done a good job as Sam, her version of Sam changes throughout the movie according with situation and she has done a subtle job. Anthony Mackie as Micah, as a visitor, has been mostly shouting throughout the movie, with few scenes where he is teaching Sam about Plato and Paintings, the character didn’t have much to do, and Mackie looks good. Though this movie has only 2 actors, so there could have been more definition and depth to both the characters, but Sam’s character dominates of Micah, and it looks more like a stand alone character movie.
The story is co-written by 3 writers, and have to say story gets absolutely loose in second half and mostly at the end. Though they have designed a damaged and unhealthy earth very well, which looks great on screen and you actually imagine that earth may look like this in future, but you need characters to interact with location,and it looks like they have primarily focussed on Sam and left Micah as secondary.
There have been a lot of references used such as Adam-Eve story,but opposite,as earth is ending,so last man and woman alive, which is a good thought. Then references of Jupiter and IO story, which resembles in the title. Then there’s preaching of Plato and a Greek Mythology, which tries to show that a scientist, now believes that mythology teaches human lives how to live and makes you believe that science is not everything, which we get, but breaking the flow of the movie ,is not justified.
Though what is amazing is Cinematography by Andre Chemetoff, synthilaing sceneries shot in France, and keeping light as soft as possible, which gives this movie a subtle edge, which looked great as a viewer. Overall, if you expect over-the-top or unique, there isn’t any, termed as ‘Understated’ by Netflix, and it remains so.
Rating - 2.5/5