Director Joaquín Cambre’s debut feature A Trip to the Moon (Un Viaje a la Luna) is an otherworldly coming-of-age film that follows Tomas (Ángelo Mutti Spinetta) as he navigates his way through life and ultimately, through space. A unique family drama coupled with nuanced performances is certainly something audiences wouldn’t have seen before, but there might be a reason for that.
Cambre does a good job of creating and visually crafting each scene. The aesthetic is rich and shrouded in child-like imagination however that’s where the film’s meaningful take on the sub-genre ends. The central relationships are lacking authenticity and it’s hard to believe these people know each other at all. The 2 dimensionality of the characters means we’re unable to establish any personality or relatability. The familial relationships are confusing and underdeveloped and the narrative is lacking up until its finale.
There’s intrigue surrounding Tomas’ past experiences with mental illness but the traumatic event he experienced as a child isn’t explored thoroughly enough and loses its influence on the narrative pretty early on. A Trip to the Moon has a quirky but sometimes saccharine quality to it, think Wes Anderson with a less thought-out and established plot. The story itself has legs, but the execution means that we see several different components spread thinly across 87 minutes rather than focussing on one or two of which are, very interesting concepts, that would have made the film much more substantial. However, its substance has been sacrificed for its aesthetic and sense of eccentricity in which the narrative can’t keep up.
The surreal ending, whether intentional or not, offers a more engaging element to an otherwise confused narrative. There are so many routes A Trip to the Moon could have taken, fleshed out, and made into a really compelling piece of cinema but instead it decided to take them all which has resulted in an insubstantial story, muddled by trying to do too much.
A Trip to the Moon will be released in cinemas on March 22nd
Director: Joaquín Cambre
Stars: Ángelo Mutti Spinetta, Luis Machín, Leticia Brédice