Movie set in space is down to earth

Ad Astra explores the complicated dynamic between a father and a son.

Brad Pitt in Ad AstraBrad Pitt in Ad Astra (Source: Fox)

This review contains spoilers.

“Let me go, son.” That’s the line that encapsulates the emotional climax of this movie. Those are the words Clifford McBride, an astronaut gone rogue, says to his son Roy, the person in charge of rescuing him from a failed mission within the limits of the solar system. The father, played by Tommy Lee Jones, got there 16 years earlier leading a mission to find intelligent life outside our planet. Roy, played by Brad Pitt, is a major in the U.S. Space Command with an illustrious career in his own right; nevertheless he is constantly compared to his famous father.

Read also:Woody and the Toy Story gang are so much more than talking toys Read more 

“Let me go.” As the father says that to his son, viewers are left to wonder what the underlying meaning of these words is. Is this the plea of a man who wants to see his son survive this mission and knows that he needs to sacrifice himself for that? Is it a father giving an order? Roy refuses to let go of his father and they struggle for a few moments.

This scene is shot and edited in a very clever way; the real drama is only evident when there’s a closeup of one of the two characters and we see the struggle from up close. When the shot pans out, there’s just emptiness surrounding them; it’s as if we’re being told that the only thing that we are capable of truly understanding and relating to is human emotion. The space around them is just a cold void, hammering the point home that being unable to connect with others is a timeless tragedy, regardless of the setting.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

More tips for outings in Bratislava during the lockdown

Walks along the Danube bank offer a feeling of being far from the city rush.

This place, part of Ovsištské Lúky (Ovsište Meadows) in Petržalka, is still Bratislava.

Roundup: Fairytale app that makes children read

An award-winning design by a Slovak architect and a trip to Zádielska dolina valley. Here’s your latest roundup.

A man wearing a face covering sits in an armchair on the snow-covered Main Street in Košice on January 13, 2021.

News digest: Minister adjusts vaccine expectations, mass testing decision still in the balance

Police investigate reported surveillance of journalist. Wolf will be protected all year long.

Mass testing for the coronavirus in the Nitra Synagogue.