Every once in a while comes a movie so brilliant that it leaves you starstruck! Literally!
Gravity was my serendipity this weekend. A movie about space never would have interested me much, unless it was the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I mean there’s only so much you could do in space, right? But, boy oh boy! Was I wrong or was I wrong?
Gravity is an out-of-the-world movie. Right from the breathtaking 13 min long opening scene, the movie is a winner all the way.
The story begins with astronauts Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a medical engineer on her first mission in space, and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) a veteran making his one last trip into space, doing maintenance work on the Hubble Space Telescope from a space shuttle when debris from an exploded Russian satellite crashes into their shuttle.
The two sole survivors drifting in space struggle to get through the various catastrophic experiences. As the story progresses it becomes more personal and focuses on Dr. Ryan Stone. We learn about her past and her roller coaster emotional ride. Metaphors and symbolism act as key factors in the movie.
An extremely well-knit plot doesn’t let you get bored even for a minute. It is emotionally engaging; you will actually feel your heartbeat rise and fall with the happenings on screen. Harrowing tense moments will make you clench your muscles. You will feel the emptiness of the space, the panic, the hopelessness, and the suffocation. You will live the film.
Director, Alfonso Cuaron’s space odyssey is a pure treat to the visual senses. He co-wrote the script with his son Jonas. It’s a very simple and straightforward story, but what makes it extraordinary is the execution. The story could almost entirely be told visually.
It’s essentially a solo run for Sandra Bullock in what I might say one of her career’s best performances. True, she was mostly supported by brilliant visual and sound effects, but her portrayal of a terrified spacewalker who goes on to become a confident and strong fighter is truly commendable. She is successful in engaging her audience completely. Her movements and expressions are flawless. I can see a very well-deserved award in her kitty already. George Clooney is totally himself in the small part that he plays Devastatingly good-looking!
Another man who deserves a special mention is cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, for he is the real wizard behind the magic of Gravity. Without his outstanding camera work and special effects, the movie wouldn’t have taken shape. Some of the scenes from the movie are simply unforgettable the sunrise or a single drop of tear floating away from Ryan’s eyes, this is the kind of imagery that stays with you for a long long time.
Sure the film has had its share of criticisms, especially from the scientific community, the most popular of those coming from people who went on a rant on Twitter about the various inaccuracies in the film. For the rest of us regular people, this is as close to the real space experience that we will ever get. The immensely incredible experience is heightened by IMAX treatment. Make sure you watch it in IMAX!