The movie ‘Spaces between us‘ revolves around a boy who visits earth after living his entire life of 16 years on mars. This movie starring Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, and Carla Gugino, is directed by Peter Chelsom. The writer of this movie with teen-romance and drama with a sci-fi background is Stewart Schill, Richard Barton Lewis, Allan Loeb.

An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet1
Asa Butterfield in Spaces between us_©https://www.denofgeek.com
An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet2
Photograph by Peter Chelsom_© 2016 STX Productions, LLC.

The movie starts with the speech of Nathaniel Shepherd introducing people to the space mission of inhabiting mars. During the mission one of the astronauts, Sarah Elliot is found to be pregnant. The baby was born on Mars and his existence is kept secret due to fear of jeopardizing the mission. The ‘Spaces between us’ is the story of that boy who came to earth after sixteen years to finally experience all the things he had only seen on the screen. A boy with the task in hand to find his father, before the time runs out due to his organs, which are unable to withstand earth’s gravity. 

There are four major characters in the movie.

Gardner Elliot

An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet3
Gardner Elliot _©www.behindthelensonline.net

Gardner Elliot, played by Asa Butterfield, is an intelligent and curious 16-year-old teen. Since he was raised by scientists on Mars, he is knowledgeable in all sorts of technical as well as scientific aspects. And he doesn’t shy away from using that knowledge when he wants to satisfy his curiosity and will. 

As someone who never had what we have and usually takes for granted, Gardner Elliot helps us appreciate the small things on earth. A boy who has no idea about social norms and rules on earth since he had only met 14 people before coming to earth.

Tulsa

An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet4
Tulsa_Photograph by Peter Chelsom _©2016 STX Productions, LLC.

Tulsa, played by Britt Robertson, is Gardner’s internet pen pal and the only person he is in contact with on earth. She is a street smart and responsible girl. Tulsa grew up in several foster homes. Brought up without proper parenting. It is more accurate to say that she is raised by herself. Hence she knows a little bit of the cruel side of the world. 

She may look like she hates everything on the earth but, according to Gardner, deep inside somewhere she can also see the beauty and the hope in the world. These characteristics make her a good partner and guide to introduce the earth to Gardner Elliot’s innocent eyes. 

Nathaniel Shepherd

An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet5
Nathaniel Shepherd_Photograph by Peter Chelsom _©2016 STX Productions, LLC.

Nathaniel Shepherd, played by Gary Oldman, is a Multi-billionaire CEO of Genesis. ‘The East Texas’, the settlement on Mars, is his brainchild.  He is torn by the decision he took for the company and the guilt of making a child live his entire life away from his home planet, in a bubble secluded from people. 

Kendra Wyndham 

An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet6
Kendra_Photograph by Peter Chelsom_©2016 STX Productions, LLC.

Kendra Wyndham, played by Carla Gugino, is a NASA scientist who has stayed on Mars for 6 years. She has helped to raise Gardner on the red planet as a result she is close to Gardner. She cares about him and understands his feelings about his parents and earth.

The Architectural Perspective

Most of the movie takes place in the future (The date of death of Gardner Elliot’s mother, Sarah Elliot, is 25 Jan 2018. Almost 16 years after that Gardner Elliot comes back to earth, which would be in 2034). Yet other than smart self-driving cars, transparent screen computers, and few other objects in the ‘East Texas’ on Mars, technological advancements are not entertained while designing the sets. The cities, people, fashion, architecture, construction, traffic, and vehicles look the same as they look today. So there is not much of the futuristic treat for the eyes of architects or designers.

An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet7
Dr. Sarah Elliot’s grave_Photograph by Peter Chelsom _© 2016 STX Productions, LLC.

Despite its genre, the most interesting aspect of the movie  ‘Spaces between us’ is Gardner Elliot’s child-like naive curiosity toward the smallest thing on the earth. This reminds us about the smallest things we ignore yet which affect our life. For example:  When Gardener tries to touch the moisture gathered on the window and the passenger next to him stops him with irritation. staring at the dog. Getting scared of a horse. Or his first reaction when he landed on earth. It’s a little bit cliche but getting wet in the rain when everyone runs for shelter. Or asking everyone: “What’s your favorite thing about Earth?”

For architects and artists whose work deals with people, their behavior, and things affecting their life this reminder changes the view of looking at the things. The space movies are mostly anticipated for structures designed in space. The views of East Texas and the space scene are the main part of the movie. 

An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet8
The settlement on mars_Photograph by Peter Chelsom _©2016 STX Productions, LLC.
An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet9
The quiet moments and scenes _ Photograph by Peter Chelsom _©2016 STX Productions, LLC.

But those are not the only memorable scenes in the movie. The art of conveying emotions without words or a human face is not an easy task. The movie ‘space between us’ was able to convey that through shots of simple activities of people, the still scenes of nature, peace of music, and silence. 

An architectural Review of Spaces between us - Sheet10
Photograph by Peter Chelsom _©2016 STX Productions, LLC.

References

IMDb. (n.d.). The Space Between Us (2017). [online] Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3922818/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt  [Accessed 27 Jun. 2021].

February 2017, H.W. 03 (n.d.). “The Space Between Us” (Movie Photos). [online] Space.com. Available at: https://www.space.com/35552-the-space-between-us-movie-photos/2.html  [Accessed 27 Jun. 2021].

Behind The Lens Online. (2017). THE SPACE BETWEEN US. [online] Available at: https://behindthelensonline.net/site/reviews/the-space-between-us/  [Accessed 27 Jun. 2021]. 

Den of Geek. (2017). The Space Between Us: Release Date, Trailer, Cast. [online] Available at: https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/the-space-between-us-release-date-trailer-cast/  [Accessed 27 Jun. 2021].

www.netflix.com. (n.d.). Netflix – Watch TV Shows Online, Watch Movies Online. [online] Available at: https://www.netflix.com/watch/80097424?trackId=14170287&tctx=2%2C2%2C507586b9-96c9-4124-81cb-6547924c2d33-329495022%2Cb57534f3-6f72-44c9-8e83-11a046ae1950_135369854X3XX1624816316154%2C%2C  [Accessed 27 Jun. 2021].

www.youtube.com. (n.d.). The Space Between Us | On-set visit with Asa Butterfield “Gardner Elliot.” [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2bWI0qrkd8  [Accessed 27 Jun. 2021].

www.youtube.com. (n.d.). The Space Between Us (Behind The Scenes). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19VV7JyjQdo  [Accessed 27 Jun. 2021].

www.youtube.com. (n.d.). The Space Between Us Behind the Scenes- Exclusive (Britt Robertson, Asa Butterfield). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaGOKBf_V_0  [Accessed 27 Jun. 2021].

‌www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Go Behind the Scenes of The Space Between Us (2017). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg49T1ZCHzk  [Accessed 27 Jun. 2021].

Author

Gargi is an Architect by degree and a tinker by heart. As a recent graduate, she is yet to find out what alley of architecture she would like to explore further in her life. Writing is a tool for her to analyze and discuss her exploration.

Write A Comment