For everyone who knows me, I obviously stan for Zack Snyder. I adore the cinematography in his films, but I do understand that his work is divisive. And that’s part of the reason why I enjoy his work so much. He doesn’t keep things safe or stay in his comfort zone. The guy likes exploring and experimenting. And it always sparks emotion and conversation. And to me, that is art.
I have been excited since the announcement of Snyder’s latest film, Rebel Moon. A space opera with heavy influence from The Seven Samurai and Star Wars sounds like a great fit for him. So, I hated it.
I enjoyed Rebel Moon immensely.
Snyder experimented with developing a new camera lens for the movie, for a “distorted retro look“. And this is where a bit of the divisive conversation comes into play for the film. There were some complaints about how the distortion would subtly blur an actor’s face during a scene. I think there was a point to that.
One scene in particular that stood out to me was between Anthony Hopkins’ Jimmy, an ancient robot knight, and Charlotte Maggi’s Sam, a farm girl.
(Spoilers ahead, if you haven’t already watched the movie.)
Rather than being without emotion, Jimmy seemed caring. Almost regretful. And he also came off like an old man, when Sam approached him and he instantly regaled her with old tales. What stood out to me was the camera work during the scene. Everything was a little out of focus except for their hands. It felt like our eyes were guided to their hands for a very specific purpose. Jimmy being a robot, he cannot emote with his face. Instead, his emotion was through both his voice, and how expressive his hands were. He fidgeted, he paused, he seemed unsure.
But for Maggi, her hands were steady as she listened to Jimmy’s story. She understood the helplessness that he felt, and in kind, she placed a crown of flowers upon his head, expressing to him that the compassion he saw in the slain princess is not lost; that it also resides in him.
In short, their hands showed their character. And I thought it was shown beautifully.