The Chopra Cloud In ‘Spaceman,’ Explained: Is It Real? What Did Chopra Symbolize?

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Spaceman, directed by Johan Renck, makes us privy to the intergalactic voyage of a man who evolves as a human as he proceeds in his mission. Jakub had been in space for almost 180 days, and as he moved through the dark abyss, he realized certain things about himself that he either wasn’t aware of earlier or that he was just living his life in denial and running away from facing his own truth. The mission that was given to him seemed very simple because he was unaware of the challenges that he would have to face. Jakub was told to bring the particles of the mesmerizing purple cloud that had been named Chopra Cloud back to earth so that the scientists could study it, perform their experiments, and understand what it was basically. The intention of the filmmaker here was not to show a mind-bending sci-fi quest but instead to use these elements to symbolize certain emotions and certain feelings and lead the protagonist on a journey of self-discovery. Hanus, the 10-legged spider, said that the essence of the Chopra cloud could not be understood in a linguistic form but could only be experienced by a person. Also, it is important to mention here that there is no such thing as a Chopra cloud in real life, and it is purely a work of fiction. So, let’s find out when the purple cloud became visible for the very first time, what led to its creation, and what it symbolizes.

Spoiler Alert


How was the Chopra Cloud formed? 

Not a lot of information is given in Spaceman about how the purple cloud came into being, but Jaroslav Kalfar’s novel, on which the film is based, does shed light on the phenomenon. So basically, a comet had entered our galaxy, and because of it, there was a sandstorm, which led to the creation of a cloud somewhere between Earth and Venus. The nomenclature of the “Chopra Cloud” was done by Indian scientists who discovered the anomaly for the very first time. The color of the nighttime sky changed after that day, and a beautiful purple hue was spread all over the sky, and it seemed like a painter had made a splash on his canvas. Scientists from all the nations began their research work, and they came to the conclusion that the cloud did not pose any imminent threat to humanity. But obviously, a phenomenon like that creates intrigue, and there was a rat race between the nations to somehow bring back one particle and unravel the mysteries that it held within it. We saw in the film that the South Korean spacecraft was just behind Jakub, and they were closing the gap very quickly, because of which Jakub was told again and again to make sure that he reached there first. The entire mission was being funded by private players, and they wanted to take full advantage of a capitalistic society. They didn’t miss a chance to advertise their products, and though Jakub would have felt a bit strange about it, he didn’t say anything against it. The funders didn’t hesitate in commodifying Jakub’s feelings, too, and they intended to do something similar with the particles of Chopra cloud, too. 


What did the Chopra cloud symbolize? 

Hanus said a lot of times during Spaceman that the Chopra Cloud was the beginning and the ending, and he mentioned that he couldn’t translate into human language what it was capable of doing. Firstly, it came to be known that the particle couldn’t be captured, and no matter how hard Jakub tried, it always escaped from the container. Jakub, at first, didn’t have any plans to go into outer space, in between the purple cosmic dust, but one thing led to another, and as soon as he saw Hanus leaving the spacecraft, he couldn’t stop himself. Jakub went out, and that’s when he realized why Hanus told him that until he experienced the magical powers of the cloud, he wouldn’t understand the impact it could have on one’s life. When Hanus first said that the particles of the Chopra cloud came from the origin of the universe, it felt as if he was referring to something like the god particle. I assumed that probably what he wanted to imply was that the entire universe owes its existence to the purple dash of light and the sparkling particles that it consists of. And though it could be said that it was one of the probable explanations, the Chopra cloud was much more than that. It was said that the entirety of time, i.e., the past, the present, and the future, was contained in that cosmic dust. That was why, when Jakub went inside it, he could literally see everything that had happened in his life and everything that was going to happen in the future.

Jakub once said that he wished that he could always see his wife, Lenka, like he had seen her the first time. When he met Lenka for the very first time in his life, it was like a collision of two star-crossed lovers, and that changed something inside his core. But with time, that feeling dissipated, and things were never the same again. He started taking her for granted, and he ran away from his responsibilities because he was unable to deal with his own internal conflicts. It could be said that the Chopra Cloud acted as a catalyst in Jakub’s journey of self-discovery and made him realize what he had done wrong. In a way, the Chopra cloud bridged the gap that existed between Jakub’s past and present lives, and it made him understand how his loneliness was totally self-inflicted. He had issues with his father, and probably, he felt that unless and until he achieved something so great that the sins of his father were washed away, he couldn’t bring a child into this world. Jakub told Hanus how he wanted to atone for everything that his father had done, and this entire journey was probably a means to do that. Hanus instilled some sense in him and asked him to let bygones be bygones and do the right thing when there was still some time left. In the end, more than learning about the secrets of the universe, Jakub got to know a great deal about himself. Jakub knew that he would have to act, he would have to mend his relationships, and he would have to let go of his past before it was too late. 


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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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