My review of this movie can be summarized in three words: GO SEE IT!
This is not only the best movie I have seen in months, if not more, but it is by far the most thrilling representation of space I have ever seen on film. If you think you have seen documentaries, or astronaut movies or whatever else 3D, 4D, 10D, Disneyland or other hip space ‘adventure’, you have not seen anything. Until Gravity.
Lately we have been flooded with movies so shallow and useless, that they pretty much can be summarized in their pointless trailer shorts. Not this one. Gravity was not advertised as hectically and only a few weeks in advance (at least in Europe) and the trailer was just a very cryptic yet grabbing sneak peek into the movie. I got interested, yet I had no idea what the movie will be like or about. And it was so much more than I could expect.
Prior to watching the movie, I was very skeptical as to the casting. Even though I have full respect for Sandra Bullock and George Clooney I was very surprised to see them as a duo let alone in a movie about space. I was quickly proven wrong. The athletic and behavioral dexterity of both actors, who basically worked on this movie in front of green screens mostly and Cuaron’s and his visual team’s imagination and scope is no less than a true wonder of directing, choreography, acting and camerabatics……And then there is Bullock. In fact, more than in any other case or role I have seen her in, in Gravity she surprises and convinces she could truly act as anyone in anything. Even though you barely see her, as you mostly hear her voice through the astronaut suit, she just grabs the viewer and never lets them go. With only one character, but with masterfully crafted script, dialogue (or monologue), special effects and suspense this movie gives the viewer more than a two hours long, star-packed movie (example Prometheus or god forbid the horrible yet visually appealing Avatar).
It is a simple story, a very plain and true tale of the survival of one woman. Yet this also surprisingly short film gives much to the viewer- it transcends its images and messages successfully and very deeply through to the audience’s psyche and, to be honest with you, heart. I do not remember being so at awe with images presented on the big screen as with the beautiful images of Earth or the northern lights or space that Gravity brought to life. I do not remember being so tensed and into the action of the storyline in anything I have seen lately – it was so thrilling I could barely let go of the handles of my chair throughout the whole movie. It was such a ride. It takes a simple cliché backbone story and turns it into a masterpiece which keeps you unaware of what is coming until the very end. And mostly, I do not remember being so touched and reminded of how beautiful and wondrous life and our planet is and how much it is OUR planet, our home, to all of us and of course the fact that we just forget that. It brought to life the cheezy in me and that’s very hard to achieve, believe me.
Finally, the visuals. Take everything else away and they are already worth your visit to the cinema even if you happen to be utterly opposed to 3D or commercial mainstream movies. The movie starts with a literally breathtaking 13 minute shot of the peaceful work on a satellite turned game of survival (I won’t give more away) and transcends the viewer into space faster than any shuttle ever could. The painfully realistic crashes, space stations, space suits and what have you and a few other 10 minute long single shots are only some of the reasons this movie does not only bring about the awe factor but also makes the impossible seem utterly real and cinematically conceivable.
In conclusion, Gravity stands as the living proof that a successful and artistically valuable symbiosis between modern day special effect technology and the 3D hype and high quality movie making is indeed possible. Alfonso Cuaron has once again given us another masterpiece combining his flair for effective yet revolutionary storytelling, infallible directing, unique imagination and bravery to push the limits of cinematography. So I stand by my recommendation, or more like urge, to you to GO SEE IT, and if you do and you disagree with me, I would be more than curious to hear why. As at this point that seems unlikely.
Movie score: 9