Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón , George Clooney (un-credited)
Starring: George Clooney, Sandra Bullock
Visually breath-taking and flawless. Gravity is easily one of the “Best Picture” candidates for the Oscars as director Alfonso Cuarón’s special effects allows for one of the best cinema viewings in recent years. The film in simple terms can be described as Cast Away in space, but this isn’t at all flattering towards Hollywood’s new in the spotlight master-piece. Gravity is more than about the battle against isolation and survival, but a story showing the power and strength the human mind can possess even in the darkest of times.
There is little neither introduction nor an easing into action as we begin our experience mid-way through what seems to be an expected routine operation for a space team. Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is an attending her first space mission as a medical engineer whilst her company is in the form of a composed, laid-back veteran Kowalski (George Clooney) attending his last space mission before retirement. Their simple objective of repairing a broken telescope however is quickly abandoned as a flood of fast coming debris smash into their shuttle flinging them into the wilderness and emptiness that is space. Separated, alone and in shock a frantic Ryan spins away. Joined by the comforting voice of Houston and Kowalski, Stone eventually gets instructed and locates a nearby station that could lead her homebound and to safety. However after contact is lost and another wave of debris soon approaching, Stone has to decide whether to simply let go and float away, or to hold on with passion and grit to find a solution.
Sandra Bullock presents the performance of her career, capturing a highly believable and realistic display despite being in a very drastic and hyperbolic situation. The pain that’s afflicted on Stone whether emotional, mental or physical leaves you sympathetic and sweating; this is significantly down to the amazing mastered performance. The absolute mental torture that Stone goes through takes us on an adventure of our own allowing us to feel the extreme loneliness and pain alongside Bullock’s character. Bullock will also be proud to be associated with such a prestigious film in terms of Gravity’s use of 3D and visual effects.
The use of 3D in Gravity is astonishing, showing just how fast the popular modern-day feature is being developed. There are many scenes that use 3D to amazing effects, my personal favourites occur in the scenes where Stone is in the pod. At one point we see her painful teardrop float up and away from her cheek towards our jaw-dropped and trembling faces. It is not only the 3D in this film that makes Gravity visually flawless but the use of shooting all digitally allows a much more defined quality. The element that separates Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity from the other space sci-fi films of this year such as Pacific Rim, Elysium and Oblivion is the cinematography and unbelievably scenery displayed throughout the film. It’s the small things in this film that really do add up to make perfection; the opening scene is breath-taking as we see an establishing shot of Earth as George Clooney’s character rather causally floats by.
The story to Gravity is simple but it is that very same simplicity that makes the film so enjoyable and such an amazing visual experience. Finding faults is rather difficult, there are areas where the story lacks depth, and in a personal perspective I would have much preferred more closure in the final scene and much more of an introduction to characters at the beginning. However the lack of these elements only emphasises and highlights the quality of others. I can predict now that Gravity will win many awards and possibly one or two Oscars. It’s a highlight film of 2013 for sure and one that advertises cinema as the beautiful art form it is. It was very hard deciding what rating Gravity deserved, many times I have considered it to be a perfect five stars but it is one nevertheless to view, to appreciate and to enjoy.