Movie Review: Gravity

From the director of 2006's Children of Men and 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in the acclaimed film series, comes Gravity, a science fiction thriller about a mission specialist, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), with limited experience in space, sent to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Working at her side is veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), who Stone relies on for safety and help in the mission. When hurtling debris from a Russian missile strike suddenly appears, Stone and Kowalski must abort the mission and enter the space shuttle as quick as possible. After becoming trapped outside of the shuttle, Stone is separated from Kowalski and must find her way back to the safety of the International Space Station before she runs out of both time and oxygen to breath. 

Gravity was an experience that will be very difficult to forget. Absolutely stunning as a visual and incredible as a story, Gravity pulls you in and doesn't release you until the final second. There aren't many words to describe how this film turned out, or how it impacted the world of cinematography as a whole. Taking inspiration from acclaimed films such as Apollo 13 and 2001: A Space Odyssey, director Alfonso Cuarón created a story, along with an amazing concept, that, although being slowly paced, kept you intrigued for the majority of the film. Cuarón, who also co-wrote and co-produced the film, was able to make a film that showed the truly endearing and quite horrifying experiences of being in the silent outer space. Never, in my 15 years of life, have I ever seen a film such as this one, a film so powerful and profound that makes you sit in awe for an hour and a half of stunning visuals and pure heart-warming stories. 

The cast of the film, being limited to merely two actors that actually appear on-screen, was something I had never seen before in a film before. It was quite interesting to watch these two famously profound actors perform with each other, having no one else (besides Mission Control) to interact with. I believe, in a film such as this one, only two actors like Bullock and Clooney, that have become so experienced with the struggles and abilities of acting, could pull off the emotion and dedication that was performed in this film. Clearly being up for an Oscar for Best Actress, Sandra Bullock, who occupied the screen time for the majority of the film, has shown the audience something that she has never shown on-screen before. Throughout all her film career (with the exception of this year's The Heat), Bullock has shown pure dedication in her acting, expressing many emotions that have captured our attention. She shines once again in this film, where she is truly on her own and must survive in an environment like no other. Throughout the film, she is pushed over the edge and must avoid countless physical and emotional struggles within the silent reaches of dark space, making her performance ever so real and ever so terrifying. Clooney, who plays a somewhat cocky but ever-so clever veteran to the outer space experience, starts off as a friend and coworker to Bullock's character, but later becomes the last and only hope she has left in order to return home safely. Although shining a little less than Bullock for most of the film, the scenes with Clooney were defiantly needed to fuel the film's emotional path to safety. Bullock's character, Stone, relies heavily on the aid of Clooney's character to help guide her and keep her from losing her head (both literally and figuratively). Having the smallest cast I've ever seen, the film is quite a landmark in the world of movies, having such powerful actors to help the film's story flow. 

Stunning is the only word that comes to mind when describing the visuals of the film. As a fan of Star Wars and somewhat a fan of Star Trek, I have always been a fan of outer space. Not being alive in those times, where famous scientists and astronauts first traveled to the Moon and beyond, I always wondered what it was like to be a child seeing a man in a huge, white, and helmeted suit set foot on an unknown space rock that was considered the Moon. My dad, being a child of those times, told me how everyone, young or old, male or female, would have their eyes glued to the T.V. screens or to the skies, in order to witness this incredible accomplishment. Now, in a world of endless technological advances, especially in cinematography, space has become something known by everyone in the new generation. In this film, Alfonso Cuarón was able to put his characters and his themes into an environment rarely seen in film. Using specialized filming techniques and good ol' digital animation, or CGI, Cuarón and his team were able to create a true zero-gravity environment for his actors to perform in. The actors once again showed even more dedication to the film as they strapped into mechanical rigs and dived in for numerous underwater scenes, in order to get the weightless effect of space. Although most of the film was CGI, none of it looked fake at all, making this film a true accomplishment in cinematography. 

As we all know, outer space is silent. But, for a film like this one, it couldn't be all silent, or else it'd be quite boring. That's why film scores were made, to expand the realm of the film and add dramatic and profound audio to make our ears explode with intense astonishment. The music in the film was amazing, reminding me once again of my favorite composer, Mr. Hans Zimmer. Scoring films like Inception and Man of Steel, Zimmer has a unique way of scoring films, that makes you tense up and tingle with excitement. Gravity's composer, Steven Price, did an exceptional job at scoring this film with a powerful and loud sound at scenes of disaster and smooth sounds at emotional scenes. Price, who also scored this year's The World's End, is a talented composer that was able to bring out the thrilling nature of this film even further with his musical abilities.

Overall, this film blew my mind beyond belief, depicting an out-of-this-world experience for its audience. The cast is incredible and the visuals are absolutely stunning beyond compare, delivering a powerful performance and showing us how space really feels when you're in it. You don't merely see a film like this, you experience it. Cuarón literally puts you in the scene and lets you see the chaos of deadly space from the perspective of the cast. The film is truly one to experience, especially in 3D, as you travel into space and get pulled into a thrill-ride of danger, excitement, emotion, and hope.

I gave this film a 10 out of 10 because it's one to remember and cherish forever. With a great, but small, cast of profound actors, an unearthly view of the perils of outer space, and a grounded, yet extraordinary, array of emotion and tragedy, Gravity is a must-see in theaters for this year and hopefully a gratifying contender in the coming award season.   


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