Movie Review – Solo: A Star Wars Story

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We know what awaits, and yet want to re-discover it. That is the kind of excitement ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ creates. We have seen it all and known it all, and yet see and know it all over again as if with a fresh pair of eyes. A highly adventurous and entertaining prequel, Solo has set expectations for the sequels.

The familiarity with the plot, the characters, and their ultimate fate is probably what generates a sense of déjà vu. As the film progresses, we are introduced to characters that we already know but to the characters in the film, it is a chance meeting. Every time we come across one of those iconic moments or references, we find ourselves smiling with that thought ‘Oh! I know this’, and well with excitement because the characters in the movie don’t know what we do.

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The film tells the story of young Han, played effortlessly by Alden Ehrenreich, and how he comes to be called ‘Han Solo’. Han is a small-time lawbreaker who just about manages to escape an arrest on Corellia, his home planet and for a couple of years has been contemplating the rescue of his girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). On his escapade, he makes friends with Chewbacca when encountering Wookiee and nearly escaping being killed.

As the plot unfolds, Han and Chewbacca continue to grow their team with Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his partner Val (Thandie Newton) joining in. Qi’ra, Han’s girlfriend with a complex background and questionable loyalties too joins the team. Rio Durant (voice-over by Jon Favreau), the much likable four-armed Ardennian pilot is a peculiar member of the team that deserves a special mention. Lando Calrissian played by Donald Glover is the show stopper. The witty, smart and charming pilot adds quirky moments to the adventure saga.

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The film is an excellent display of the director Ron Howard’s craftsmanship, brilliantly scripted by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan. The character of Han, originally played by the legendary Harrison Ford does set audience expectations from Alden Ehrenreich. Alden makes no effort to replicate Harrison and delivers a very original and exceptional performance, giving a whole new persona to Han. Every actor seems to fit into their roles with an expert ease.

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The adventure story retold has great action sequences with the famed ‘Star Wars’ theme track playing in the background, it has its moments of triumph and moments of disaster, the bliss of friendships and pain of betrayals, past misgivings and future hopes. Fast-paced, action-packed, thrilling and highly engaging, ‘Solo: a Star Wars Story’ will make you want to look forward to the next.

★★★★1/2

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