Film Review: Gravity

Wednesday 13 November 2013 by

Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, Film, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Gravity. In physics, described as the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.

The storyline of this film stays within the definition of its name throughout its 90 minute duration. Incidentally the same time it takes the International Space Station to make one complete orbit of the earth.

I remember the first time I saw the trailer for Gravity. Sitting in a shadowed cinema, watching the upcoming trailers, me and the other 100 or so people quietly chatting amongst ourselves, checking our phones and waiting for the film we had come to see to start. Suddenly we were presented with an extraordinary image of earth from space and the immediate threat of disaster for 2 astronauts. For the next minute and a half, myself and the rest of the audience were transfixed. When the trailer finished there was complete silence. There a very few trailers, and equally very few films that have the power to completely assault your senses, take you away from your conscious environment and create an instant connection to the people and situation presented. After the film we had gone to see had ended, all me and my friends could talk about was the Gravity trailer.

The storyline of this film is very simple, Dr.Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, is on her first mission into space. During a routine spacewalk with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky, played by George Clooney, disaster strikes as debris from a Russian satellite destroys their shuttle and sends them tumbling into the vastness of space. Completely alone and running out of oxygen, the story follows their efforts to ensure their survival.

That synopsis alone does not do this film justice. This film is more than just a film about space. It’s a film with themes deeply rooted to our biggest struggles and fears on earth. This films deals with the subjects of loss, and life. How we cope as human beings, how we deal with loss, and when faced with the worst possible situation, what drives us to overcome these obstacles, succeed in the face of adversity and ultimately, choose to continue on.

Gravity, Film, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

These themes are vividly portrayed by the phenomenal Sandra Bullock. Although not the first choice for the role, Angelina Jolie reportedly turned down the role numerous times, she carries the entire film with the maturity and magnificence of a true A-list Hollywood actress. Sandra was involved in every aspect of her characters creation, including the choreography of her movements whilst tumbling though space, and it shows. From the initial moments of her characters visibly inexperienced actions whilst working on the Hubble telescope to the representation of her physical stresses via her breath on her helmet, her portrayal is awe inspiring. I can’t recall a character I was so invested in. I wanted her to succeed, willing it even. It’s a testament to Sandra that she can make such a complex and structured film making process appear natural and spontaneous.

Gravity, Sandra Bullock, Film

Director Alfonso Cuarón has created a film that transports you into space with these astronauts. At times you feel you are with them, floating by their side, begging them to save you too. At other times you are transported above them and are watching their story unfold, as if a voyeur, relishing in someone else’s exposed and frightening nightmare.

He poetically mirrors Sandra’s characters story in space with the story of her struggles on earth, and one scene where she silhouettes a foetus in the womb, receiving the nutrients and safety that she needs is nothing short of perfection. On earth, her character had no reason to fight. She is abandoned and alone which mimics her situation in space. The events that take place make her act out her fears, confront her despairs and express her anger. Throughout her journey, she becomes reborn.

3D is used throughout the movie with great effect. Never displayed as a novelty, it actually takes the audience into outer space, allowing us to appreciate the isolation and vastness of his characters environment.

The film itself is scientifically accurate in depicting no sound in space. To conquer this Steven Price as created an exciting and inspired soundtrack that compliments this film in every way. The final piece of music, entitled ‘Gravity’, combined with the final scene of the movie creates and extremely moving and emotional ending.

Gravity, Film

This film and Sandra’s performance will be studied and talked about for many years to come. It is also a film that I believe needs to be seen in a cinema to truly appreciate the magnitude and scope of what has been created.

My advice would be stop watching the trailers, stop reading this review and go and experience Gravity for yourself. Allow yourself to be taken away on a journey. This is a film like no other. I can guarantee you will have never seen a film like Gravity.

5 Houses

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