October Sky: Sometimes one dream is enough to light up the whole sky

Director: Joe Johnston

Writer: Lewis Colick

Stars: Jake Gullenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, William Lee Scott, Chris Owen

Genre: Drama/Biography

Year: 1999

“Sometimes one dream is enough to light up the whole sky”

The movie October Sky presents a beautiful combination of compelling performances, a convincing theme and a well knit script depicting various emotions in a right blend. Joe Johnston’s movie is based on the life of a NASA engineer Homer Hickman. It revolves around the plot of launching Sputnik in 1957 and the inspiration that teenage Homer garners from it which germinates in his heart the dream to build a rocket.

Homer Hickman (Jake Gullenhaal) lives in West Virginia and studies in high school. His father (Chris Cooper) is a passionate and fiercely proud supervisor in a coal mine. For him life of every kid in West Virginia starts and ends in the coal mine. He wants Homer to follow his footsteps and work in a coal mine. But there is something else running in Homer’s mind. He is busy seeing dreams to build a rocket and refuses to cater to his father’s wishes of working in the coal mine. The grit and feeling with which Homer’s father persuades him and the determination with which Homer dreams of making his fascination a reality results in a clash between the father and the son.

While portraying moments like this Joe Johnston has done a superb job to bring out the emotions in the viewers to feel concerned for Homer. Tear-jerking moments like these lend a dramatic and emotional touch to the movie thereby binding the audience all the way. In the struggle to pursue his dream Homer is encouraged and supported by his teacher Miss Riley (Laura Dern).

Homer along with three of his friends doggedly starts building the rocket. And here starts there journey with many ups and downs as they walk towards their aim. It is here that the audience starts feeling the warmth of friendship between four of them which is beautifully depicted in an inexplicable manner.

Along with this the inspiration of Miss Riley, her contracting a life threatening disease and Homer’s continuous efforts despite all odds with lot many twists and turns in the plot leave the audience all the more spellbound as the movie progresses further and leaves everyone wonder what is coming next as Homer competes for getting college scholarship in national science fair with his perfect rocket.

All the actors have given compelling and convincing performances. Amidst striking performances of veteran actors Chris Cooper and Laura Dern the newbie Jake Gullenhaal gives an extraordinary performance thereby leaving sharp imprints on the minds of people with his acts. Johnston has done a great job in adapting the autobiography of Homer Hickman into a movie with perfect ease and with smooth transitions as he depicts every scene with minute detail and acute perfection. Towards the end the flow of sentiments in the movie are remarkable.

Though the movie revolves around rockets but it does not just cater to the interest of people obsessed with rockets as it provides lot of prospects for all those who want to pursue their dreams with utmost dedication and determination. On a whole the movie is executed and screen played well with terrific performances from all the actors.

So, for all those who want to run after their dreams despite all the odds this is a must to watch movie to drive your inspiration further.

Manisha Rana