My rating – 8.5/10
Chazelle has brilliantly managed to retain the environment of the 60’s yet his distinct style forces itself through. He chose moments from the life of Armstrong that had the most impact and displayed them using a vision that mixed music and miracles. The film ducked you into the cockpit of the space crafts and made you feel the emotional and physical impact of the astronauts throughout. Great 2001 homages were present.
The story dealt with other factors apart from space missions like change in human perspective after a space trip, to dealing with the death of a child. The complicated life of Armstrong was well dealt with citing family pressure surrounded by death and shown without melodrama.
Gosling and Clair Foy both put up great performances. Gosling showed range in his acting skills portraying a character who forced him to diverge from his comfort zone.
Though the shaky handheld seemed too much at times outside the space crafts, during missions however the effect it created was mesmerizing. The feeling of crashing from outside the atmosphere has never better been captured on film. Though the lighting in space allowed stylization and movement,they managed to beautifully light up Armstrong’s house.
A master class .First man used rhythm not only within scenes but in-between them. This rhythm fading scenes into one another made the editing truly difficult to pay attention to. The haywire emotional structure could have been to reflect the unpredictability of life. The pinnacle of intensity was reached and maintained in space missions which often had me holding my breath.
Art-direction and vfx was immaculate .They maintained a 60’s feel with the sets, hairstyles and costumes, and also created a aged-futuristic look for NASA and the ships which felt like entering a different world.
The music film deserves the Oscar for best soundtrack. It was serene and snuck in some 2001 references as well. The sound design was brilliant and edit and design together uplifted the visual intensity. The audio of this film alone can evoke every emotion that the combination of AV did.