I didn’t come into Stowaway thinking I would get hit so hard with the feels or that I’d be crying while writing this up after just watching it. Like, I knew that things were going to get hard. I knew that tough decisions would have to be made. And I thought that Shamier Anderson‘s character Michael wouldn’t make it. And he did thanks to the selfless act of a stranger that he just met a couple days ago.
Zoe, played by Anna Kendrick, has a special place in my heart now. She didn’t have to do what she did. But she stuck to her guns and saw that there was merit in giving Michael his best chance. And if she had to, if she had to put her life in danger to do so, then she was going to do it. Hell, if given the chance to do it again, she wouldn’t change her decision. Because that’s the kind of person her character is.
The Zoe voiceover at the end, and how it stitched things together with the intro, broke me. The writers knew what they were doing, reminding us of where she started and how even in death she found that rare opportunity to find meaning in her life past anything she could ever imagine. The fact that she was staring at Mars, their ultimate destination, while this voiceover was happening was a special punch to the gut too.
Then there was Michael, the stranger she had sacrificed her life for. He was just as important as anyone else on that crew. And in a matter of days, he knew that he had met some of the best people he’d ever meet in his life. Like Zoe, he was willing to save them all, even at his own expense. And I love his character for the grace, strength, and poise that he had as his world crumbled around him.
Anderson, who I loved from his time spent on Wynonna Earp, absolutely killed it. Everyone did in Stowaway, if I’m being honest. But the way that he brought life and emotion to this character added so much depth to Michael. It speaks of an immeasurable talent that I’m glad others are finally getting a chance to see and experience in Anderson. Hopefully this is the start of a very lucrative career where studios want him for all the films.
David, played by Daniel Dae Kim, had a brother/sister bond with Zoe that made me laugh, smile, and think of my own siblings. They were family, through and through, and he did everything so he could make it back home but also so his sister could make it to the next day and the one after that. That even meant making the tough decisions when no one else was ready to do so.
I can see why some people might not like him because of these tough decisions he had to make. But he was so believably human that you’re left feeling like you might do the same thing too. Plus, when it really came down to it, he did a dangerous thing at Zoe’s side, just as committed in the survival of his crew. And that absolutely included Michael, a man he’d just met.
Marina, played by the astounding Toni Collette, rounded off this cast of characters with a leader who showed compassion and understanding. Personally, I expected her to be the one to try the hardest to kill Michael for the good of the many. But she didn’t do that. She looked at the logical solutions and showed how human she was with her hesitation and patience. That’s what made me like her and the way she supported her crew members.
Ultimately, Stowaway is a story about kindness, hope, and strength in the face of vast uncertainty and death. It’s about doing what’s right, doing what’s hard, and sticking by your fellow human being. And it’s a lesson that sometimes you have to take a risk, take a chance, because it can or will improve the situation of another person. Doesn’t matter if you’ve just met them.
They matter. They’re worth it.
And Stowaway is proof of that.
It’s also a story about the uncertainty of life. You don’t know when you’re going to die or what direction your life will take, despite all the planning we all make. And the only sure thing is how you live your truth, how you treat others, and the legacy you leave behind. Zoe left behind one of perseverance. And if we can learn anything from her, it’s that compassion is a hard fought but worthy endeavor we all need to practice a little more in our day to day lives.
Stowaway is now available on Netflix.
What did you think of Stowaway? Let us know in the comments below.