Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
It has been seven long years since director Alfonso Cuaron released the critically acclaimed Children of Men to audiences worldwide. His current full length sci-fi thriller Gravity was definitely worth the wait since it is a marvel of a film that is bound to be known as this year’s greatest achievement in cinema.
From the very first frame, filmgoers are left completely awestruck while watching astronauts Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Matt Kowalsky (Clooney) working at a space station ranging at hundreds of miles above Earth. It’s Ryan’s first mission while it’s Matt’s last mission before retirement, and the duo are as different as night and day. Considering the talent and the clichéd setup, one would think that this would be the perfect plot device for a romantic comedy. However, less than fifteen minutes into the film, the characters are immediately put in peril as debris from a destroyed satellite demolishes the space station and the two are left detached, spiraling further into space. They must rely on each other to avoid dying unimaginable, painful deaths – despite the fact that the odds of their survival are close to nil.
Gravity is an extraordinary film that appeals to the imagination. With a mere budget of 80 million dollars, Cuaron was able to somehow direct the best space-set film of all time, and although that may sound like an exaggeration, it is a well warranted statement because the film provides such amazing 3D visual effects that viewers will feel like they are truly with the stars. This makes Gravity an equally terrifying and entertaining experience.
There are many horror fans that may be turned off by Gravity simply because of the casting of Sandra Bullock and the fact that they may feel the movie’s premise sounds like Open Water in space; however, being deterred by these elements alone would definitely do the avid moviegoer a huge disservice. Bullock easily gives the best acting performance in her entire career, and if the film was simply about her floating alone in space, it would surely cause everyone in the theatre to have simultaneous anxiety attacks as even watching her character spiraling for less than five minutes (before the next conflict arises) is enough to make viewers dizzy with trepidation.
Gravity is not just a thrilling film about being lost in space, it also conveys how it is to be lost in life through remarkable analogies and clever imagery. Ryan Stone becomes the quintessential definition of “the Final Girl” as viewers will see her remarkable transition/rebirth while the charming astronaut Matt Stone plays the part of the proverbial umbilical cord who helps give her the strength she needs to survive and – more importantly – let go.
Gravity is easily one of this decade’s greatest cinematic film experiences for it is a visceral, technical and thematic tour de force that actually can only truly be experienced to the fullest extent in IMAX 3D.
5 out of 5