GRAVITY is written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. It’s an action/disaster film that takes place in the scary and unforgiving realm of space. Bullock plays Dr Stone, a medical engineer on her first mission, with experienced astronaut Kowalsky, played by Clooney. During their mission, disaster strikes, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone fighting space without any communication with Earth.
This is a movie I have been looking forward to seeing since I first seen the trailer. So when the time came for me to watch it, I went in there with equal amount of excitement and trepidation. Excitement because of the subject matter, as well as the visuals of the film. Trepidation because I was worried that it would be another hyped up tent pole movie which relies too much on special effects, and fails to impress story wise.
Let me start by saying, this movie is visually spectacular. Director Cuaron and cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, have gone above and beyond with their search to find the most realistic special effects technology and team. As an audience member, you will feel like they actually shot this movie on location, which we all know is impossible, but that is how jaw dropping and splendid the digital effects are.
Cuaron puts his leads through some of the most complex set pieces and action scenes, all the while placing us in their point of view the entire way. You’ll never feel removed from the action or the sense of doom that something else is around the corner. This enforces how difficult the protagonist’s goals are to achieve to the viewer.
Sandra Bullock plays the smart but scared and inexperienced astronaut, who is forced to deal with the unimaginable over and over again. She balances emotional vulnerability, resourcefulness and strength perfectly. It’s wonderful to see a tough role like this go to a woman when it normally would have gone to a man.
George Clooney’s character is the calm, relaxed, charming and funny astronaut, which comes as a welcome relief in such an intense film. Even though he has far less screen time, he is still effective and proves that no matter the role, he can turn on the charm.
With all of that being said, the viewer never gets to know either character very well. Stone reveals that she had a tragedy in her life, which fuels her drive to survive the space. But that’s where it ends. Now in most cases, the audience would not get invested in the characters and care what happens, if there is such little information about them. In this film, however that does not seem to apply. Possibly because the space is so unforgiving, unknown and scary, you just want them to survive it.
I would highly recommend this movie for anyone, not just those that love science, space, Clooney or Bullock. This is a thoroughly enjoyable, suspenseful and beautiful film that takes you to a place that most of us will never get the chance to see/experience. And yes, there have been other space movies that have gotten close, but none employed the technology that this movie has.
As someone who thinks 3D is used as a gimmick in most movies, I have to admit that it really works in this film. There were several moments where I actually ducked from flying debris, so I suggest you find the biggest screen you can, grab your 3D glasses and be prepared to be blown away by the stunning visuals. That is not something you’ll hear often from me.
I give it 8/10 stars.