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Supernova Will Take Away A Part Of You Forever




Starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci

Directed  by Harry Macqueen

Rating: ****

It’s not easy to watch someone you love fade  in front of you.Supernova is not  an easy film to watch.  It brings us so close to  love , life, death and regret that we  feel the full force of all the four emotions, like those waves undulating on  those panoramic   British shores that Sam  and Tusker  drive through.

Sam and Tusker, pianist and writer, have been lovers and companions for  more than twenty years. Time  is  now running out on their till-death-do-us-part  togetherness. Tusker(Stanley Tucci) has been diagnosed  with  dementia.  Before  he forgets everyone  and everything, or, as  Tusker puts its, forgets who is  the one forgetting ,Tusker wants to end his life.

 The  realization that  no matter how close you are to someone you may still not know him  well enough  hits  Sam hard. He takes it badly. And since Sam is  played  by the redoubtable Colin Firth(if you have seen his range, from Mama Mia to  The King’s Speech  you  would know he can play anything , manic depressive to gay) his seething rage  at  not being able to control the creeping progression of  mortality into  his  love, is so palpable I felt it at the pit of my  stomach.

 Sam’s fading partner is played  by  another brilliant actor Stanley Tucci whom you may  not have noticed. He  has this habit of creeping  into characters and disappearing into them  completely. Here, Tucci’s  Tusker is stubborn, witty, wise and  dying. Though he is the  wife in  the homosexual  partnership he is  what you may call the dominant partner. Tusker’s helplessness at not being able to  ensure that Sam won’t fall apart after  the tragedy overtakes their love, is not  what you will see through cinematic tropes(maudlin  background music, dramatic expressions of rage  and  grief,etc). None of the usual signposts of tragedy here. It’s all done with seamless fluency, making every moment between the lovers-companions precious without punctuation, eternal without prompting.

 On the surface  Supernova is  road film about two people in love trying to come to  terms  with a looming tragedy. Underneath there simmers a great wisdom and  truth about human relationships. No matter how indelible  and  profound, death will conquer the heart.

I came away from Supernova a better human being.  The film is not “directed”  to showcase  the  talents  of two British stalwarts. It is  every  inch  a treatise on the finalty  of  love and the finiteness  of feelings no matter how  deep. I love the way   the family-reunion episode has been shot, Sam’s family. But it’s Tusker who seems to warm up  to them and to  bond with  every  member of Sam’s family  as though there  is no tomorrow(there isn’t).

During a quiet moment away from the family bustle  Tusker turns to Sam’s brother and  asks, “You will look after him, won’t you?”

 That’s the moment when  my heart broke.

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