Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gravity Breaks New Ground in Cinema

Gravity – Movie Review

By Anne Brodie Oct 3, 2013, 14:37 GMT
 There has never been a film like Gravity.  It breaks through conventional Hollywood thinking to reach new heights of artistry through technical know-how.
It is a pioneering cinematic vision that has all the soul of an earthbound film, but the look and feel of an out of body experience or a dream, or what we could imagine it’s like to be weightless in space.
Its backdrop is the heavens, the scary, silent, sunny yet dark and endless, empty vista.  Space is the greatest character of them all, the worst villain of all and the most beautiful thing.  Cuarón gives it full glory in this masterful immersive meditation.

Sandra Bullock, an incredibly buff medical scientist, is working on a space station with astronaut George Clooney.  Clooney’s’ character is the easy going and funny, given to telling stories to ease the tensions of working in space.  His warmth and compassion remind us how good life is on earth.   A third man seen in long shots is working on another part of the craft.   Just another day in space.
Bullock and Clooney float through the half sun, half-dark doggedly carrying out their duties but suddenly detach from the main vessel.  They manage to clasp onto each other when an emergency warning from Houston directs them to get inside.  A space junk storm is coming at them.  Before they can comply, Bullock is hit and immobilized.
Things go from bad to worse.  Bullock’s character, given to panic attacks and hyperventilating, uses too much oxygen and begins to redline.  The craft sustains major hits and the communications system is wiped out.  They are truly alone.
Clooney points out the Russian Space Station, a few space miles away. Getting there is problematic and dangerous but the vessel’s intact with communications systems, extra oxygen and food and water.  And there are two Soyuz space craft to take them home to earth. 

If it were only so simple.  What lies ahead is horrific, beautiful, searing stuff.  It is emotionally intense and yet it looks so deeply beautiful.  It’s a thriller but its poetry too, again, all new.
Bullock’s command of her character and the camera is brilliant.  She carries the film mostly alone and against space, the biggest scene stealer of all time.  Her confusion, emotion, physical suffering and isolation and her will to carry on feel real and natural.   How do we know what it feels like to be lost in space?  It’s inspiring.  She is perfect.
Gravity is a triumph of cinematic progress and imagination, made possible by state-of-the-art technology.  It is pure cinema, expressed through science and stunt magic.   Space seems so real that it whets the appetite for to travel even as it turns off sensitive souls.
The urge to explore is what sends astronauts to space, with the knowledge that they could pay with their lives.  It’s part of the deal.   Our protagonists know it, too.
My advice is to get good 3D glasses and choose your seat carefully.  I had a bad seat and poor glasses and watched the entire film in double images.  I still enjoyed its ingenuity and this bold step into a new, higher ground in film.

Sci fi thriller
Written by Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Opens: Oct 4
Runtime: 90 minutes
Country: USA
Language: English

No comments:

Post a Comment