Star Girl

An encounter with an alien changes an ageing farmer’s life forever.

Genre: Science Fiction

Length: 20

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Producer/s : Mani Roberts,

Director/s : James Price, 

Writer/s : James Price, 

Actor/s : Andrew Price, Joe Dempsie

 

The farmer and the ailen

Stan lives alone, working his farm helped by his god-fearing housekeeper Liz. One evening amidst a meteor shower, a flying saucer (great effects here) drops an alien into his field. He takes her in, teaches her English, and confides how he’s terminally ill.

There’s some humour, when he tries to explain “Voyager” to Liz, and when he demonstrates how to use a towel and Voyager throws it into the bath. A pair UFO hunters bring a sense of menace. The farm itself, unsanitised and held together with mud and baler twine, is almost another character. You can almost smell the manure.

And there’s a major plot twist: why she’s really here.

Stargirl touches on interesting ideas, such as Voyager’s “enlightened” home planet, and Liz’s religious belief. But unlike the UFO, the themes never take off. Andrew Price is likeable enough as Stan, and Cristiona Aston is well-cast as the enigmatic Voyager, but one senses they both had more to offer.

The core problem is that the film doesn’t know whether it wants to be a comedy, a drama about two souls bonding, a reflection on civilisation, or a horror story. It could have been fine as any of these. A good script and a sure hand on the directing tiller might even have pulled off two out of four, and made a remarkable film. But, stretched in multiple directions, Star Girl falls short on all of them.

Then there’s that twist, which is when things begin to get interesting, when some conflict and jeopardy emerge. Trouble is, it’s nearer the end than the beginning, and like everything else, it goes nowhere.

There is good stuff here, especially the promising opening, and it’s definitely worth a watch. But that smell, it’s not the farm, it’s the sad whiff of what might have been.