The Andromeda Strain directed by Robert Wise

The Andromeda Strain is the Movie adaptation fo Michael Crichton’s novel, and should not be confused with the later 2008 TV mini series. Directed by Robert Wise the film does a great job of bringing the drama and suspense of the book to the big screen. Just like the novel it is the story of a disease brought back to Earth from the upper atmosphere of the planet by a satellite. Since the plot is quite similar to the novel, discussed here, I want to go over how the movie goes about adapting some of the tricker elements of the novel to screen, and other aspects about the film medium. In the novel when two of the scientists are investigating Piedmont, the site of the contamination, they learn while some people died instantly others went quietly nuts, and committed suicide in such overly elaborate measures. Such methods include filling up a bathtub and holding their head underwater until they drowned, or filling their mouths full of airplane glue. In order to capture both of these the scene used a split scene technique, where one screen shows the scientists looking into the houses where the other show still shots of what they see. While the airplane glue scene is one of the still images, other images include a family that died right while eating dinner, food still on the table because they died so quickly. These seemingly normal shots help to make the bizarre suicides shots more surreal, and vice versa. The sound track has an electronic feel that fits the movie well, as most of it takes place in an underground labratory. Despite this it still manages to capture the feel ing of ominous danger, whenever the situation gets worse. Finally, WARNING: MINOR ENDING SPOILER HERE when Mark Hall attempts to escape the central core of the facility, so he can stop the nuclear self destruct sequence, he becomes poisoned by the automatic defense system of the lab. The camerawork does a great job showing how the poison is affecting him. As we see the scene shot from his P.O.V. in slow motion and getting slower as the poison starts shutting down his body. Finally, while the movie has a happy ending, it ends on ominous note pointing out that just because this disaster has been averted, there is no guarantee that a similar problem will not happen again.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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One Response to “The Andromeda Strain directed by Robert Wise”

  1. Laureen Says:

    Good review. Thanks for sharing.

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