Gravity: An Extraordinarily Beautiful Space Epic!
Gravity is a heartbreakingly, terrifyingly exciting, and extraordinarily beautiful space epic that made me question my every desire to leave this planet.
The simplicity of this film is such that every minor detail stands out. With most films, this would be a significant fault, but not this one. Writer, Director, and Producer Alfonso Cuarón seems to revel in the detail. That is the elaborate way of saying the attention to detail superb. I can’t complain, but if I really wanted to be “that guy” I could pick apart a few details, but I am not that guy, and I keep that to myself.
The film is really simple, which makes it harder to talk about without spoiling much, so I’ll start with a few rough, some better than other, comparisons to other films. Gravity is like 2001 – if it was exciting, at all, interesting, beautiful, epic, yes. Terrifying and exciting, not at all. Cast Away – if it was in space, without sports equipment. Moon – if it wasn’t on the moon and without…moon clones. Apollo 13 – if the disaster was much worse, and if it wasn’t a true story, we knew had a happy ending.
The premise is simple. A mission to upgrade the Hubble is catastrophically interrupted when a destroyed satellite creates a cascade of devastatingly deadly debris orbiting the earth at over 15 kilometers per second. When Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Commander Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are the only survivors, and the Space Shuttle Explorer is destroyed, they must find a way to survive, and get home.
There is one element of this film that absolutely blew me away, the sound, more accurately, the lack of sound. There are very few sound effects, no audible explosions, in the vacuum of space. In essence, we hear, and frequently see, what the characters hear and see. This brings me to a very important element of this film. The beautiful score by Steven Price, it was subtle, and haunting and added the right emotional undertones to some very intense moments. My only complaint is the complete lack of any Bowie. Sure, it would have been clichéd but cliché is not always bad, especially when it’s David Bowie.
Of the two performances in this movie, the only one worth mentioning is Sandra Bullock’s, not that there is a problem, at all, with George Clooney’s performance. It’s just fairly standard Cloony. He is charming, witty, and elevates everyone he performs with, that’s all he brought to this film, which is perfectly fine because that is what he was supposed to bring. His is not the primary role. The majority of screen time belongs to Sandra Bullock alone, and I do mean utterly and completely alone. I know this fact has caused some to view this movie with speculation and concern. I am here to tell you there is no need to worry. She handled herself and this role fantastically. I would dare go as far as to say she was very good. She was able to build a character you cared about, liked. If she had not, this film would have fallen apart like a decommissioned Russian satellite.
Gravity opens in theaters October 4th
I give Gravity 9Gs where g = GM/r2