Written and directed by JJ Pollack, a restless young woman ships off to fight an interstellar war, only to struggle with the effects of being cut off from her home by both time and space. Starring: Madison Wilson, Jamie G. Vaught, Beth Puorro, Christopher Winbush, Zachary T. Scott, Lauren Bonetti and John Valley.
It’s easy to quickly draw a line from the plot of Jettison to the real life methods of enticing young people into the military, promises of adventure and travel, happily skipping over all the consequences. That relatability makes it extremely easy to be drawn into this story, it lives outside of our reality but not too far removed. Centring the story on Rebka (Madison Wilson) who is an inherently sympathetic character and easily guides you into her journey.
The way that the story progresses creates an interesting take on a war story, mixed with a more grounded sci-fi theme. Taking into account that living in an environment where time passes more quickly than your home would have a hugely detrimental impact, missing out on so many key experiences and losing loved ones in the blink of an eye. The way that it uses space travel also feels like both a known and unknown quantity, especially in that it never feels a need to explicitly explain itself, leaving an element of mystery which is a nice touch.
There’s a certain style which flows through all the different aspects of Jettison and that’s blending simplicity with genuine emotion. Allowing the film to move in a way that’s understated but impactful. Which is why it was a smart move on JJ Pollack’s part to use that monochrome aesthetic, it removes the need for excess effects and keeps the focus on the story. It easily imparts that off planet feel without ever having to really explore it. However, the effects that they do use are well done and help to give a futuristic edge in a graceful way.
Surprisingly for a sci-fi story, the direction and cinematography bring a charmingly natural air throughout, it moves with a kind, gentle confidence. Then as the story grows and the consequences of Rebka’s choices land, the tone shifts and it leans into a bigger sadness which has a great sincerity and compelling feel. A quality which is entirely embodied by Madison Wilson’s performance, doing a great job of exploring the changes to Rebka’s mentality throughout the film. Bringing that evolution through with a big adjustment to the body language and making for a heavier presence as time goes on.
Jettison has a natural, understated and moving feel, adding its own twist to a military meets sci-fi story. It’s led well by Madison Wilson who captures the monumental changes to her character in such a short amount of time. It’s shot with a graceful air, bringing through the touch of the future and bigger universe but never losing its grasp on the heart to the story, making sure the focus never strays. The only thing that’s missing is an extra punch or ending moment to really cap off the story with some bite.