Supernova, as a film, has a simple concept. A couple embark on a road trip through the hilly English countryside in a caravan. As one of the couple struggles with early onset dementia, the film explores the dilemma of seeing a loved one terminally suffer.
Hollywood heavyweights Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci are dragged out of their element in this slow-burn independent film. However, they put in an emotionally-fuelled performance worthy of their respective roles, with their characters affected by the condition in different ways. While there isn’t much further depth to the film or its characters, there’s plenty of space for the delicate and expansive exploration of its subject matter, deeming it a worthwhile watch.
There’s a lot that’s endearing about Supernova. Nothing is extravagant about the story or its setting. The same is true of the film’s portrayal of dementia, with most of the screen time spent performing inconspicuous activities, or trading witty rapport. As this challenge uninvitedly forces its way into their regular lives, it forces them into compromise with a heavy emotional toll.
Having covered this, there isn’t much left in the film to invoke surprise. However, seeing the story brought to life on screen is still a confronting experience for the viewer. It provokes thought on the fragility of life and the reality of suffering through a debilitating ailment.
The isolation of the two lead actors as on-screen characters echoes the isolation of any couple going through similar torment. It may also echo the isolation many of us feel during these pandemic times. This relevance ultimately makes this story one more necessary to tell, as in our real world, this is suffering no one should have to go through alone.