Aniara creates no emotional connection because it is too busy jumping around different genres and character stories. Who is MR? Is she a hired hand? Is she a renegade? Is she a scientist? Is she gay? Is she straight? Is she bisexual? Is she in love? Is she not? Why, she's all of these things whenever the plot deems it appropriate in order to make yet another cynical point. There is not a single character on this spaceship from a neoliberal hell. There are only caricatures that, themselves, cannot decide on who they are. Is MR's friend(?) part of a cult or not? Is the machine a machine or an organism? This final question would be interesting if it were posed. Unfortunately it is not. When it needs to be a machine, it's a machine. When the plot needs something to explode, it becomes an anguished organism. This the first of many rug pulls that make up this (once again) lazy film.
Movies can make a cynical point without being so distant from its characters that the point makes no difference anyway. We might take the recent Climax for example. Gaspar NoÃ (C) is able to appeal to our deepest sense of dread because his characters are real. If they can do such horrible, horrible things, so can we. That type of cynicism is legitimate (and a million times more effective) because it comes from human reality. Aniara is the equivalent to a prolonged masturbation where everything is subjected to one goal: an ironic orgasim of faux-bleakness. There's no emotion here, there's no humanity: just gratuitous dark.