Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
What you get from a film is what you prefer to take from it.
So, Gravity could be your very own pulse-pounding, rip-roaring ride through space. With its sophisticated 3D SFX and startling camerawork, it literally positions you into the thick of the action on screen. You become one with astronauts Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), get implicated and involved in their struggles in a space station 600 km from earth. You feel the urgency, danger and horror of these sole survivors of an aborted mission as they try to find their way back to earth. This is cinema at its most participative and not just for being a thrilling, simulated ride. In many a breathtaking, beautiful scene—like that of the sunrise—you can feel both the transcendental beauty and cold vastness of the final frontier. You can experience the meaning of eternity in the almost silent, meditative visuals.
At another level, Gravity could well be a love story, a touch and go romance that was never meant to be beyond a bit of a banter about the colour of Stone’s eyes or the devastating good looks of Kowalsky. There is something heart-tugging in the way the medical researcher on her first mission and the retiring NASA veteran are bound to each other, literally, and talk shop to stay afloat and alive. But only for a while. Soon Kowalsky has to teach Stone the most important lesson in life: to let go.
More wisdom follows. Like the best of sci-fi, the power of Gravity is in the spiritual force and philosophic vision that lies deep inside its very core. At the start of the film, Stone says it’s the silence in outer space that she likes best. A silence which eventually begins to gnaw at her mind. She craves human voice. Gravity, then, is an allegory about a lost soul trying to find anchor. Hit by a bottomless, gravity-defying tragedy and the horror of death, running away from rather than confronting her intense grief and drifting futilely in life, it’s about Stone eventually fighting free and getting her feet to the ground. A poignant shot of a floating teardrop vividly captures her sadness. There’s no one special down there to look up for her, nobody to pray or mourn for her. Space then is safe, Kowalsky tells her mockingly. Space is where she can tune herself out, inure herself so no one can hurt her. But then what’s the point in living? Gravity could well be a tale of any lonely, stranded soul like her deciding not to quit and starting to live. Directed by Alphonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien), Gravity is not just the force that Newton discovered, but it’s that one significant pull that makes the abandoned find home.
> "This is cinema at its most participative and not just for being a thrilling, simulated ride. In many a breathtaking, beautiful scene—like that of the sunrise—you can feel both the transcendental beauty and cold vastness of the final frontier. You can experience the meaning of eternity in the almost silent, meditative visuals."
I fully agree. What a ride!
A little underwhelmed. How a craft designed to reenter the earth's atmosphere fails to stay afloat after splashdown is one of several things that don't add up.
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