Author Topic: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets  (Read 568 times)

Clockwork

  • Charming Prince of Darkness
  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 2033
  • Karma: 16
  • Bitter? Me? portugal no, I think it's hilarious.
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
« on: January 09, 2018, 02:20:23 PM »
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets


A movie by Luc Besson starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne with Clive Owen and Sam Spruell based on the comic book by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières.


Where to begin analysing Valerian? It has so many talking points that it's nearly worth going scene by scene and with so few repeated themes or points hammered home at every opportunity I believe it could be done. Likening or comparing this picture to others is a challenge but it does take ideas, visuals, narrative aesthetic and gimmicks from a ton of genre-defining material such as The Matrix, Avatar and Luc's earlier Fifth Element.


I will start with the start of the film however as it sets the tone which is important to various other points in the movie and the type of universe we as an audience are told to believe in. The City of a Thousand Planets starts with an Earth space station which has been made to allow other stations to dock with it. America is in the first one followed by other nations of Earth in a sequence misleadingly backed by David Bowie's 'Major Tom', various timeskips later with cuts of each set of astronauts shaking hands with each other and later on in the sequence, aliens of all kinds dock onto the ever growing station until it becomes the titular city, home to all; by and large a grand sci-fi utopia. This opening is fantastic at setting up the movie to be a big, weird-alien sci-fi akin to Guardians of the Galaxy; there is little to no dialogue and from here the scope is potentially endless.


Unfortunately, directly afterwards it snaps planetside to a world pictured as a naturalistic ideal in contrast to the humanity created ideal in the City of a Thousand Planets and introduces the planets inhabitants: the blue people from Avatar. Literally blue, technologically impaired but savvy and quick to learn humanoids with a connection to the natural world. To me; this story element is what throws most of the film off kilter.



The centre to this movie, the only real constant throughout, is the relationship between Valerian (DeHaan) and Laureline (Delevingne) which I found one of the more confusing aspects of the film. At times I was shown things which led me to believe they were together in a casual way, not together at all and then culminates as expected at the conclusion of the film. This isn't helped at all by the undeveloped nature of Valerian; he shovels a good 8 minutes of exposition at the audience near the start of the film with absolutely zero context. We're told he's handsome, intelligent etc but (objectively, comparative to other hollywood actors) DeHaan isn't classically handsome and his character comes off single-minded and egotistical than intelligent. I think the both of them are giving good performances and they work on-screen well together but I feel as if this type of macho romance is a hangover from the past rather than the supposed egalitarian future.


TBC.


For my money, the best scenes were the multi-dimensional market scenes.


C'd


TBC'd again.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 10:22:12 PM by Clockwork »
Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.


Caradìlis

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 2731
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 07:17:11 PM »
I really liked the beginning of the movie, the scene in the spacestation was quite funny if I recall correctly, of course that could have been situational humour, things are sometimes more hilarious when you are watching them in a crowded cinema...

I'm not sure whether I would call the relationship between Valerian and Laureline a "macho romance", I mean, I might have a completely wrong interpretation of what that word means, but at no point in the story does Laureline ever submit to Valerian, if anything, I remember it the other way round... (it has been a while since I've seen the movie though, so I could definitely be wrong in this...) Especially in the first half or so of the movie, where she keeps refusing to be "one of his conquests".
"Those who don't beieve in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

Clockwork

  • Charming Prince of Darkness
  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 2033
  • Karma: 16
  • Bitter? Me? portugal no, I think it's hilarious.
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 09:59:16 PM »
Not about submission, his idea of romance was to tell her repeatedly how awesome he is and then look back at her like he earned something every time he did anything.


EDIT: Which I know works but for a central story hook it's not compelling.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 10:52:00 PM by Clockwork »
Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.


Caradìlis

  • Citizens
    Voting Member
  • Posts: 2731
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 10:01:22 PM »
Point taken, Valerian is a huge (well, let's just say not a nice guy, to avoid rude word usage) with a quite distorted self image, that much is definitely true...
"Those who don't beieve in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl