Night Sky (2022) review: Heart-warming, slow pitched sci-fi thriller with a messy final act

Night Sky is a Si-Fi thriller revolving around the tragic life of an ageing couple that is also the owner of a telepathic portal in their backyard shed. The series is now streaming on Prime Video.

Story

Franklin (JK Simmons) and Irene (Sissy Spacek) are an old couple, living together in their family house for half a century. Irene’s health is deteriorating and Frank has begun to face memory losses.

They are still grieving over their son’s unfortunate death from suicide. Irene feels he’s somewhere on the other side of the space gateway. Frank is concerned over her frequent visits to the portal that leads to an observation room on a deserted planet.

Soon enough, an enigmatic young man crashes into the party in search of his father. Irene believes he’s the clue to her late son.

Another storyline opens with a reclusive Argentinian family, also guarding another similar telepathic portal. An extra-terrestrial cult assigns a mission to kill the apostate (Jude).

The story concludes with an intense face-off with the old couple and Jude gets saved. He finally leaves in search of his father while Frank and Irene explore the alien planet to find new human settlements.  

Performances

JK Simmons, as Franklin York, is as original as it gets. His on-screen presence is engrossing, charming, and wholesome throughout the series.

Sissy Spacek, as Irene York, has done great justice to the character. Her sweet and vulnerable expressions are magic spells for gullible Frank. She’s selfish and determined even at the age of 70.

The electrifying chemistry of Frank and Irene is the backbone of the series.

The mystery stranger Jude (Chai Hansen) looks convincing and overly well mannered, building suspense about his real character.

Stella (Julieta Zylberberg) is decent in her role. The character’s strict and authoritative relationship with her daughter is aptly performed. Toni (Rocio Hernandez) has a limited screen presence but does a decent job playing the shy and reclusive character.

Positives

For the typical sci-fi genre, Night Sky is slow-pitched, yet engrossing with momentary wholesome scenes. The heavy focus on complicated human emotions is its strongest part.

Humorous scenes with nosy neighbour Byron add the necessary flavour. The portrayal of flawed aspects of the characters acts as a coherence bridge for the tone of the series.

The city of Fornswarth is also depicted as a dull and ageing character. Various long and establishing shots help create suspense and intensity. The CGI work is also done impressively.

The background scores have admirably caught the momentum of the series. Especially, the emotional scenes of Frank and Irene are well laden with grievous melodic music.

Negatives

The director has made a huge blunder in condensing the story to just 8 episodes. It had the potential to develop and explore other interesting characters.

The final third is just awfully paced and seems to be losing the plot. At times, it becomes frustrating to watch scenes where Frank and Irene are not involved.

Verdict

The abrupt introduction of the shadowy cult organization spreads chaos to the whole story. In the end, it becomes a spaghettified mix of two storylines. Overall, it’s still a brilliant film for sci-fi lovers inclining toward realistic depictions. With a solid screenplay, incredible acting, and a thought-provoking message, Night Sky has the potential to be a memorable series in its genre.

Had the director focused more on the human aspects of its characters, it could have been an all-time great.

Rating: 3/5


Also Read: Night Sky (2022) summary and ending explained