Bring yourself back to the early 1860s, back to where many things seemed impossible to mankind. This is where the The Aeronauts will take you as characters James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) and Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) go through the adventure of their lives as they challenge record breaking heights whilst pursuing knowledge for science.
The story is based on the real life events of Glaisher who fought hard for weather prediction. Following history, he succeeded in his work, becoming one of the pioneers to the science of meteorology, saving many from a bad hair day – not to mention saving hundreds from potential bouts of famine and tragedy as a result of properly predicted droughts and storms. He pairs up in this movie with daredevil balloonist Wren who has a passion for the skies and a penchant for theatrics.
Fact or Fiction?
Despite having such a promising story, it soon enters the fictionalising airbrush. It’s seen in how they replaced Glaisher’s real life partner in experiment and co-pilot Henry Coxwell with the completely fictional character Amelia Wren. To be fair, it has been passed around in murmurs that the character has some strings to real life aeronaut Sophie Blanchard among others. Certain daredevil acts also proved a little too unrealistic. “How are you still alive?” was a question I asked at least three times throughout the film. While I understand that films have a tendency to stray a little from actual events to create a good story, I also think a good story in itself shouldn’t be painted over for the sake of dramatic flair.
Jones and Redmayne are also known for their spectacular chemistry in their earlier movie, The Theory of Everything (2014). Whether or not their chemistry was passed into this movie is uncertain. I won’t spoil too much for you, but all I’m thinking is that it looks like certain things are left hanging. And sometimes, that’s perfectly fine! Especially since these two characters begin with very, VERY chaotic minds – think angsty teenagers, but with adult problems.
However, I still would have loved for some closure between them. There was just so much of that fiery will to prove people wrong, and with over an hour of facing adversities and admiring the unseen world “beyond the clouds” together, that it would only have made sense.
Not all bad
Apart from that, it’s an interesting film to watch! Unresolved issues aside, there definitely was chemistry, and it would have proved a really boring movie if there wasn’t any. Jones and Redmayne were set up for a really difficult task, and landed it gracefully. Cinematographer George Steel managed to bring an elegance to even the most tragic of scenes, and composer Steven Price brought an atmosphere that complimented every tone and tension. It was a well-embroidered film of drama, delight and passion.