The pedagogy of Letting Go: Comet (2014) dir. Sam Esmail

For anybody who has watched this movie, the title is self-explanatory. The intention, therefore, is not so much an analysis as much as it is a revelation of a gratifying visual experience. Comet (2014) intertwines themes of the human conscience, pessimism, existentialism, the concept of time, and the affinity of the human heart for turmoil. It encompasses these elements to tell us the story of two individuals who meet and drift away over time, an experience not much farther from our own.

Non-linear storytelling in Comet (2014)
Non-linear storytelling in Comet (2014)

Design and Construction of Comet (2014)

Comet (2014) does not adhere to linear storytelling which only adds further to its construction. The characters have a deeply analytical yet genuinely artsy bent of mind. This is rather the signature of Director/Producer Sam Esmail, also accredited for the famous TV Series Mr.Robot starring Rami Malek. The Cinematography is characterized by dreamy sequences, as much of the movie feels like a dream itself. It uses bright colors to communicate warmth, and help us get familiar with the characters. Similarly, the picturization shifts to hues of white and gray, defamiliarizing us with the characters and communicating the bridging gap between them.

Color and textures in Comet (2014)
Color and textures in Comet (2014)

The movie consists of witty dialogues that formulate drama, giving us deeper insight into individual characters. The sound is minimal yet effective in keeping us attuned to the story. All of these Cinematic elements juxtapose for the sole purpose of creating an immersive experience. The intention is to familiarize ourselves with our own conscience through the passive act of indulging in the movie for our entertainment. The experience is unique and definitive for every individual. Isn’t this the true purpose of Art?

The instances in Comet(2014) reveal themselves in a cyclic order in spite of its non-linearity. Each individual embodies predominant desires which the other does not reciprocate at the same point in time. However, there lies coherence at the root of the story with one person adopting and developing the habits and desires of another with time. It stands true even in the case of their disagreeability. Both individuals spite each other but at different points in time. The movie achieves showing this oh-so craft fully!

Kim's dilemma in Comet (2014)
Kim’s Dilemma
Dell breaks up in Comet (2014)
Dell breaks down

The Celestial Truth

The encounters through Comet (2014) pose for us the bigger questions. Are relationships supposed to be self-serving? Or worse, do they change us as a person altogether? The story follows chapters of taking one another for granted in order to evade inevitable changes. The dreamy and forever longing Kimberly has to adapt to the chains of practicality when Dell does not reciprocate her subjectivity and warmth. Dell, on the other hand, tries to evade the eternal turmoil of a happily ever after but falls prey to endless longing after being separated from Kimberly. The change is inevitable for both people who try so hard to preserve their belief systems.

Dell and Kimberly getting back together in Comet (2014)
Dell and Kimberly getting back together in Comet (2014)

Letting Go …

Comet (2014) exemplifies the challenges associated with letting go of something truly dear to us. Dell and Kimberly clearly have different priorities by the point of time at which the movie ends. Kim has settled comfortably in her new life with Jack, but Dell cannot imagine living in a world without Kim. His pain is somewhat personified through us viewers, who cannot help but sympathize with him. We do not know if he will forever embody this grief, or manage to move on after his disbelief at the situation.

Human beings are needy creatures. Evolution dictates the innate desire for a suitable mate. Intelligence supersedes the limitations of earthly bounds. We are born into homely setups and hence the subtleties of finding and losing other people are very new to us. We learn with time, but some of us are only truly able to let go when the circumstances force us to. Like a gun lingering over our heads.The fear of the trigger being pulled dictating our actions. Maybe we need the earth-shattering cruelty of such a situation, to disembody our sense of reason. This movie was a necessary asset for the innate and incomprehensible.

The transition of Dell through Comet (2014)
The transition of Dell through Comet (2014)

A Note of Optimism post Comet (2014)

Although Dell and Kimberly don’t end up together in the movie, Sam Esmail has been married to Emmy Rossum(Kimberly) since 2017. They also have a beautiful daughter together. Not that sad an ending after all, huh!

Further Reading:

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