Ryan Reynolds’ Netflix film The Adam Project is continuing to win hearts with its action-packed, suspenseful adventure and nostalgic sci-fi elements. It has also become the most-streamed film of 2022.
Directed by Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy, the film stars Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Walker Scobell, Jennifer Garner and Zoe Saldana in prominent roles.
As reiterated by Reynolds, the film is indeed a “very personal story” as it sees Reynolds as the titular Adam. He journeys back in time to team up with his older self and his late father to save the future, have a second chance at mending things and make amends with his past demons and anxieties.
Heartwarming and tender, an abundance of delicate scenes, especially between the older Adam and his younger, more volatile and vulnerable self, makes the film special. Adam’s anger and frustration at losing his father to such a tragic accident find solace in the scene when he finally gets to bid goodbye to his father.
However, the film’s most heartwarming and tear-jerking moment is the raw exchange of dialogue between Reynolds and his on-screen mother, Garner. Garner plays the role of Ellie, who is reeling under her husband’s untimely demise and is having a difficult time connecting with young Adam, who is palpably annoyed and not very kind to his mother.
Reynolds meets Garner in a bar and gets a second chance at reconciliation and apologising for his past actions. This moment is delicate and brimming with vulnerability as it explores the deep-seated themes of love, relationships, tragedy and grief.
Between 2022 and 2050, Adam’s psyche evolves, and he comes to certain bittersweet conclusions about truths that he tried to ignore. From unlearning his privilege to recognising how unfair he had been on certain occasions, especially to his parents, Adam learns to let go of the resentment he felt towards his father for supposedly abandoning them. He also regrets his constant mistreatment of his mother, who desperately tried to keep their family together.
44-year-old Adam is more experienced with the ways of the world and teaches his younger, 12-year-od self to be more kind, compassionate and empathetic towards his mother, who has nobody to lean on. Reynolds heartbreakingly admits that he is still haunted by how he treated his mother with ignorance and apathy.
When he meets his mother in the local bar, he becomes a stranger-turned-friend who lends a patient ear to her frustrations and anxieties. Ellie goes on a whole rant about how babies are “pure love” but then grow into teenagers who are “assassins of happiness”. Her struggles with singlehandedly raising a child as tricky as young Adam reflect here. Young Adam’s disdain towards his mother’s lifestyle, his misdemeanour at school and other actions frustrate her. The older version finally decides to take over the reins of the situation and apologise for his actions.
He says, “Teenage boys are horrible. It’s like living with a urinal cake that yells at you.” This light-hearted quip helps break the ice, and he sincerely reflects on his actions and talks about how good she is at her job. He even unhesitatingly tells her how she is a great mother. The authenticity in his voice and the regret in his eyes helps Adam achieve his redemptive arc. He also suggestively lets slip how Adam loves her “more than he knows”, which refers to a phrase he would use with his mom during his younger years. Young Adam, too, pays heed to his older self and begins to show his mother how much she means to him.
This moment of reconciliation, redemption and renewal shows how Adam appreciates his family and finally completes his “project” of letting go of his past regrets and traumas and having a refreshing restart at life itself.
Watch The Adam Project on Netflix now.