Analysis of a Scene
The movie Sunshine is a psychological thriller unfolding within a sci-fi voyage. Directed by Danny Boyle, Sunshine’s script is written by Alex Garland. It’s a cautionary tale of the unexpected dangers that come when deciding to go off-course from the intended mission.
The crew of the Icarus 2 are set on the fateful mission to save earth by reigniting the sun. The voyage to deliver an atomic payload proves even more challenging when the crew is faced with an unexpected decision. After receiving a distress signal from their predecessor, Icarus 1, they’re faced with a dilemma. They must decide on making a detour to retrieve a second payload or stay on their original course. The detour could increase their odds of success, but is it worth the risk?
After setting up the premise detailing their mission and introducing the crew, the movie takes its first main plot twist with a scene of the whole crew having a discussion about the ship’s discovery of Icarus 1. The scene has great exposition for setting up the rest of the movie, while providing the audience further insight on character dynamics. The scene cements the characters personalities and their motivations through the perspectives they share on how to handle the new dilemma.
15 minutes into the movie, the scene is around 5 minutes long, at the crux of the first act of the film. While each crew member is engaged in what’s happening, four characters stand out as a tetrad dynamic. The juxtaposition of viewpoints begins between engineer Mace (Chris Evans) and psychological officer Searle (Cliff Curtis). What initially appears as a dyad, gains the added complexity of needing approval from the captain Kaneda (Hiroyuki Sanada), who then defers to physicist Capa (Cillian Murphy)
It’s determined that arguing over opposing courses of action will not be resolved by a majority vote. Kaneda feels the decision is to be made by the person with the most expertise, who happens to be the physicist. But before we get to his decision, let's take a look at how director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland make an excellent effort in having every…