What would you do if you knew you were dying, but could spare your family the pain of your loss? Apple TV+’s Swan Song tries to answer that question, as Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali plays a man who, through the help of Glenn Close, gets cloned so that his family never has to miss him. The only problem is, he can never see his wife or child again, otherwise the whole process was all for nothing.
Writer/director Benjamin Cleary looks to have put together a portrait of loss and sorrow in this Apple TV+ original. The concept is impressive on its own, but looking at the cast list on display in Swan Song’s trailer makes it all the more exciting. In addition to Mahershala Ali and Glenn Close, we also get to see actors Naomie Harris and Awkwafina helping piece together the concept of losing your family without ever having to say goodbye.
Just when you thought Mahershala Ali was already an intense figure on screen, Swan Song sees the two time Academy Award winner turning his own intensity on himself. Wrestling with the fact that another version of him has taken his place in the family he’s trying to protect, this film isn’t a fantastical vision of cloning that engages in the usual paranoia. Instead, Benjamin Cleary’s spin on this sci-fi staple digs into dour, emotional consequences.
For those of you who still aren’t over the emotional punch that Ali and his Moonlight co-star Naomie Harris delivered in their Best Picture winning collaboration, Swan Song looks like it’s going to be just as heavy. With Harris unknowingly caught in the middle between two different versions of Mahershala Ali’s character, it feels like the whole situation is building towards one gigantic catharsis towards the end of the film. Both actors could see themselves yet again nominated for acting accolades, and for the same film.
Good science fiction can allow us to see the human condition a bit clearer through a fantastical lens. With Swan Song, grief and closure are seemingly in the balance, with the added complication of saying goodbye while you still can. As Apple TV+ is about to release the apocalyptic Tom Hanks road trip movie Finch onto its platform, it seems that this streamer may have found a niche for itself.
Swan Song is headed to theaters, and Apple TV+, on December 17, 2021. But if you want to see what other movies are heading into the world throughout the rest of the year, 2021’s movie schedule is waiting out there. Which is a perfect escape from tearjerking sci-fi, should that not be the type of movie you’re currently in the mood for. Sadly, if you can’t wait for Mahershala Ali’s Blade, we’re still not sure when that film will be hitting theaters. But if you're a Naomie Harris fan, you can take a look at her latest and upcoming projects currently in release, or in the works.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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