Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Easily one of the most talked about films of the entire year, Gravity is most definitely worth the wait (it took over four years to make). Believe me, you have never seen a movie like this before. And just a small word of advice, see it in 3-D. Don’t roll your eyes about how 3-D sucks and don’t start your rant about how it gives you headaches, just do it. The movie is only 90 minutes long, and after ten minutes you’re so engrossed in the film you forget you have those 3-D glasses on.
Also, I won’t be discussing any of the methods used while shooting this innovative film, because after reading many articles on the subject matter it’s necessary to keep all the smoke and mirrors behind the scenes. If you want to be truly “wowed,” you wouldn’t research how a magic trick was done before watching the act, would you? Just sit back, relax (as much as you can since this is one for gripping the arm rests tight), and enjoy the spectacular visuals through the lenses of your 3-D glasses.
Now to the movie. Gravity starts out with a brilliant and breathtaking 13-minute tracking shot that is as gorgeous as it is suspenseful. Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) is on her first shuttle mission while her colleague, Matt Kowalski (Clooney), is the long-time veteran who is very light-hearted, telling stories and jokes and playing Country music. Dr. Stone on the other hand is all business, concentrating on the task to be completed and often ignoring everything around her to see her job done. The procedure they were to see through never got completed though, because of debris from a neighboring space station that catches them off-guard.
The rest of the movie is about survival, and for Dr. Stone this is a lot more difficult for her to find than one can imagine. Believe me, this is a fist-clenching, leg-shaking, nerve-racking experience. Cuaron loves to move the camera around like you’re a character inside of the movie, as he shows here when a bead of water splashes onto the camera lens (similar to the blood that splatters on the camera during Children of Men). But the most fascinating aspect about Gravity is the number of lengthy and uncut shots that will surely go down as some of the most impressive tracking shots in cinematic history.
Technically, this movie is at the top of its class. The special effects and the computer animation involved to make it look like Bullock and Clooney are really floating in space is seamless. But while the spectacular editing and camera techniques steal part of the movie, it’s equally important to mention how strong the characters and the plot of the film are. Bullock has given the best performance in her career here (yes, better than her Oscar-winning performance in The Blind Side), dealing with the emotional and physical struggles to make it back home. When asked why Dr. Stone liked space so much, she responded that she likes the silence. The silence that can take you away from all the hurt of your past, but can also bring back the many painful thoughts and memories that you’ve been trying to run from. Then all that’s left is for you to try and find it within yourself to fight against the silence until you hear that ear-shattering noise of rejoice.