Gravity is a nerve-wracking, sentimental, terrifying and thrilling experience. It felt similar to being on a rollercoaster ride except my seat wasn’t moving and there wasn’t any dramatic wind blowing through my hair. This film, in retrospect, has no fancy storyline. It’s about two astronauts, Dr. Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalski – played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney – struggling in space after a chain of unfortunate events. To tell you more would be to give too much away. It’s so much more than just a story about survival. It beautifully presents the very core of what motivates us as human beings to keep moving forward: fear.
And in this context, the fear of space; the fear of time; the fear of the unknown; and the fear of not just dying but the question of how. It perfectly depicts what we, as people, are capable of. The feats we can accomplish and the power of the human spirit.
Warning: tether yourself and attempt to hang on.
The film was co-written, co-produced, co-edited and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. His direction of this film was the smartest move he could have made. This movie forces the audience to hear what Stone and Kowalski hears and see what they see. It was like your head was in the helmet of their astronaut suit. The audience felt what they felt and Bullock dug into my heart and threw me in the co-pilot seat.
Bullock presented a standout performance. Bullock was sensational. The suspense and thrill of the film would have been nothing without her relatable connection. There were moments that I held my breath for so long that I could feel tightness of my face. I was punching and gripping onto the arms of my friends that by the end of the movie, I was physically and mentally exhausted. It may be premature for me to say, as it is still early on, but I would be shocked if she does not receive recognition for this movie at the next Academy Award.
Gravity is a “real” movie and I say this carefully. Hollywood has been spewing out blockbusters to keep the business of cinema a float. With the Avengers, Spiderman and Star Trek, doing decently well at the box office, it’s refreshing to still have the same movie magic experience without the supernatural element. Gravity IS the minimalist blockbuster you never knew you had been longing for.
Clocking in at just an hour-and-a-half, you don’t feel cheated by the short run-time. You don’t even notice it. In fact, you’re almost grateful for it. With so much suspense and thrill at every turn, I don’t think I could have survived anymore without having to claw the skin off my body. Walking out of the theatre, my hands were covering my semi-swollen eyes and my heart was still going at 200 million miles an hour.
Kowalski’s signature line in the movie is, “you truly can’t beat the view,” and you can’t.
The cinematography of this movie is beautiful and leaves you breathless. The collaboration with longtime cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and visual effects supervisor Tim Webber, audiences forget that this movie was entirely generated by computers. With just an $80 million budget, that’s impressive.
The score was just as breath taking as the cinematography. Composer Steven Price deserves just as much praise as Cuarón, Bullock and Clooney. The score hauntingly compliments the film in every way. Even without watching the film and audiences are still able to feel he sadness, the wonder, the frustration and the fear. It’s a role in itself.
To Alfonso Cuarón, thank you. You have returned my faith in the Hollywood industry on a silver platter. Thank you for the long awaited movie magical experience. You took me back to the cinema and you’re making me stay.
Gravity is a movie that demands to be seen in theatres. It’s an experience. You’d be doing yourself a favour to pull your eyes away from the computer screen and get a ticket at the cinema because as of right now, this movie is unlike any other.
This was one heck of a story to tell.