By Fin Sheridan
WARNING: Contains Spoilers. If you haven’t watched Passengers, then this may ruin the film for you…
I recently watched the film “Passengers” starring Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen… and well, that’s about it. That’s because “Passengers”, if you don’t know the plot line, is a film about a couple of individuals, travelling through space, towards a new planet. They, along with approximately 5000 others, have been put to sleep for their 120-year journey and will wake up when they get near the planet Homestead. Unfortunately Jim (Pratt) wakes up 90 years early due to a hibernation pod malfunction.
Now, this is where the film threw me (the trailer didn’t give this away but I’m about to.. You have been warned!): Only Jim wakes up. A year after he wakes up, driven by loneliness and attraction, he intentionally wakes Jennifer Lawrence’s character – Aurora and pretends that her pod malfunctioned too. He confides in robot barman Arthur and… I’ll let you watch the rest. This was one of several moral threads during the film: by waking Aurora up, Jim effectively condemns her to death. She won’t make it to Homestead.
“How often is my comfort, my desire, my preference at the forefront of my mind?“
This was, understandably, hard for Aurora to take. She didn’t want to wake up. Her choice was taken away. We’re used to films where the good guy is willing to die for the heroine but that’s not how Passengers depicts it. Jim is cripplingly lonely and, driven by the need for someone to connect to, he makes a choice. What struck me was how this is the very opposite of the gospel: Jesus’ actions say “I die for you”, Jim’s say “You’ll die for me”. Passengers unintentionally gave me a fresh appreciation for the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, by reminding me how selfish we can be.
How often do I put my needs first? How often is my comfort, my desire, my preference at the forefront of my mind? The question Passengers invited us to answer was “What would you do?”. Would you commit the ultimate act of selfishness like Jim or would you have done better? I’m sure many of us would want to think we could stick it out but the truth is, we make selfish choices every day.
My own life is characterised by selfishness; a toxic “me and mine first” attitude that is the total opposite of the gospel that saved me and the God who gave himself for me. Passengers was a helpful reminder and one I hope will stay with me.
Note: Passengers is rated 12A and does contain “moderate threat, brief injury detail, sexual activity”.