If faced with the impossible decision to take a life to save another, could you? And if you could, would you? These are the questions, among others, that are posed by Joe Penna’s Stowaway on Netflix. The film has only four characters who are forced to examine the lengths they’re willing to go to preserve their own lives. Check it out in the clip above.
Starring Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson, and Toni Collette, Netflix’s Stowaway follows three astronauts and a launch engineer (Anderson) who accidentally ends up aboard the ship in transit to Mars. The accident that lands the engineer on board also results in permanent damage to the oxygen supply. With the ship moving too quickly to return to Earth and only enough oxygen for three people to survive, the four crew members are forced to evaluate which life is least important.
As seen in the clip above, Shamier Anderson’s character, Michael, is the most obvious choice to sacrifice. The other three spent years training for the two-year mission and are essential to its success as commander (Toni Collette), medic (Anna Kendrick), and scientist (Daniel Dae Kim). As the story progresses, however, we see different skills emerge in all of the characters that may increase survival and begin to question the initial casting aside of the unplanned passenger.
Stowaway was the first feature-length script written by Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison, who share a love for philosophical debates, moral quandaries, and space movies. These three things come together perfectly in the film which keeps audiences guessing and on the edge of their seats from start to finish.
Daniel Dae Kim mentions in the exclusive clip above that Stowaway is a story that examines human vs. nature more than human vs. human. It’s an extremely interesting point, and a valid one, as the film really explores these characters and the decisions they make based on the likelihood of their own survival. The human vs. human approach may take more feelings into account, things like who had the most family waiting back on Earth, who would boost morale, etc. But with human vs. nature, it’s purely about survival which causes us to make very different decisions than we probably think we’re even capable of prior to being presented with the choice.
As Anna Kendrick says in the clip, this story has impossible decisions about whose life is more important. It almost seems that commander Marina Barnett’s life is automatically considered the most important because she pilots the ship. But then she sustains an injury, and that begs the question, what if the mission had gone according to plan but something happened on Mars and she couldn’t make it back? Were the other two on her crew incapable of piloting the ship? That seems unlikely.
Stowaway is a great film to watch with friends and family because it will cultivate really interesting conversations. All of the characters have relatable qualities and detestable moments, which makes it all the more intriguing for the audience to see who they relate to most and what decisions they think they would make in the same situation.