2nd Op Review: Gravity (2013)
The direction, acting, soundtrack and cinematography.
No real closure to Dr. Stone's journey other than she survived in outer space.
Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a mission specialist on her first space expedition in the Space Shuttle Explorer. She must perform repairs on the Hubble Telescope while Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) tests out the jet pack and supervises her performance. Mission control warns the crew of a Russian missile strike on a broken satellite which causes a domino effect from the debris. It strikes the shuttle causing Dr. Stone to detach and float away in space. Once Kowalski finds Stone, they discover their shuttle damaged beyond repair. It becomes a race to survive before the debris in orbit comes back. They must find the nearest space station and find a way back to Earth.
A lot of credit must be given to the director, Alfonso Cuarón. He put everything he has into this film.Gravity is an experience unlike I have never seen before. You must view it in 3D and/or IMAX. Steven Price’s composition gives the proper tension, desolation and atmospheric soundtrack throughout the movie. The view of the Earth and the scope puts things in perspective. The dynamic camera view from Stone’s helmet, then rotating outside her suit and against the background in one shot is where the movie shines. Especially when the debris hits the station, it looks very realistic. I am not an astronaut, but these situations that Stone encounters seem very plausible. I did not feel through out the movie where I would think, “Oh, that is so fake”.
Sandra Bullock carries the emotional weight in the movie. We discover more and more about her character, Stone. She is emotionally vulnerable, but forced into survival mode. There are moments where she wants to die. But she finds the will thanks to Kowolski and her recollection of the training. She overcomes her previous tragedies and we root for her to make it home to tell a good story. George Clooney was vital to the cause with his sense of humor, the complete opposite of Bullock’s character. Yet they compliment each other. His discussions and jokes keep her from giving up.
This is an experience I urge my fellow readers to take. It is not everyday a film can capture survival, devastation, spiritualism, and resilience in an epic pace.
The last obstacle course-type movie I loved was Armageddon. It has every emotional turbulence you could think of and that movie premiered in 1998. I thought Hollywood would never make another movie with equal exuberance. I was happily wrong. Gravity has the effect of a 3D movie without ever having to put on the glasses (although we did watch it in 3D). You were experiencing the astronauts survival instinct every step of the way, so close and personal. So intimate yet so distant. I walked away with inspiration, a new found appreciation of my life and increased my ability to block out Earthly drama called Bullshit I have no use for. After all, we all survived an outer-space debacle.