Thursday, 14 November 2013

'Gravity' Film Review

In production since 2010, the highly anticipated film by director Alfonso Cuaron finally hit screens in the UK last weekend and wow, was it spectacular.



Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a medical engineer embarks on her first space mission with veteran Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), an astronaut on his last expedition. Just as Kowalski undergoes his final spacewalk, news of stray debris from a Russian missile strike on a derelict satellite prompts the team to abort the mission.



Debris strikes their shuttle explorer and detaches Dr Stone, sending her drifting into space. Kowalski manages to reach Stone and the two discover they are the sole survivors of the crash. Tethered only to each other and with no communication with Mission Control, the two fight for their lives in the hostile and cold outer space.


Praised for its visuals, 'Gravity' opens to a beautiful and breathtaking view of Earth, slowly rotating as the shuttle explorer drifts into view. The contrast in scale, view and depth is prominent throughout the movie, shifting points of view heighten the dramatic cinematography, from first person to a holistic detached view, almost God-like: the Earth's slow, gentle movement oblivious to the intensity and explosive trauma that faces the two sole survivors. Interspersing shots in the vast and endless realm of space with scenes inside the cramped space station and views from within Stone's suit creates a dynamic fluctuating feeling of openness and claustrophobia. 


Thankfully, the trailer does not give too much away but the essence of the movie is a claustrophobic sci-fi action thriller. The pace and action varies, from calm moments to explosive sequences, but one word which describes the movie succinctly is 'breathtaking'. At times, you are at the edge of your seat, holding your breath, watching the action unfold whilst others you stare in awe at the beauty of space and Earth.

Ultimately, 'Gravity' is a character piece, showcasing the mental and physical struggle of Dr Stone. She says in the movie that what she loved most about being in space was 'the silence', ironic given the events that follow. Visually, one of the most iconic shots was Stone entering the space station and curling up in the foetal position.


Her shift in mentality and her will to survive, her moments of weakness and feeling of loneliness all manifest in a solid performance by Oscar winner Sandra Bullock. 'Gravity' is powerful in the way it handles these themes, but also pays tribute to iconic space movies such as Apollo 13, Ridley Scott's Alien and Pixar's Wall-E. 

As the movie reaches its climax, Stone's dire predicament was truly unpredictable, but was handled appropriately and was satisfactory. Though you root for her survival, you prepare yourself for the worst. The ending was also beautiful and empowering.

On a side note, the soundtrack to the film was surprisingly prominent within the movie and heightened the feelings of tension, drama and amazement. It is simply a beautiful series of musical composition and manages to emote and touch your soul.

~~~3D IMAX, 3D or 2D?~~~
I saw this in 3D IMAX as it was so hyped for its effects and wow, it was phenomenal. This is my first 3D IMAX movie and I am floored with how stunning the movie was. There was a huge amount of depth and the imagery was striking. Debris flying into your face, Dr Stone's floating teardrops and a drifting astronaut all work extremely well in this format. I would highly recommend seeing it in IMAX 3D- if you're ever going to see any movie in this format, this is it!


~~~CAST~~~
Sandra Bullock- Dr Ryan Stone
George Clooney- Matt Kowalski

After numerous passes from high profile actresses such as Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johannson, Bullock received the role and boy, does she do it justice. She is versatile and manages to convey a spectrum of emotions and even evoke some humour near the end. 

With only two main cast members, Bullock successfully carries the movie both physically and emotionally. George Clooney was a strong support and doesn't steal the limelight, as his character was pleasantly uplifting throughout and offered a contrast in persona to Stone's.

~~~OVERALL~~~
Topping the US box office two weeks in a row and topped the UK box office upon release and still going strong, 'Gravity' is garnering top reviews all across the board and has also been publicly praised by Avatar's James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino. 


'Gravity' is a visually stunning and captivating movie about one's deeply personal struggle for survival in space, led by Oscar winner Sandra Bullock. Both tense and breath-taking, the movie explores a range of holistic themes but never wanes from grabbing your attention and engaging with the audience.

The movie is made to be seen in IMAX 3D and it was a phenomenal film experience seeing it in this format, with stunning visual effects and scream-worthy flying debris. 

Expect it to garner all (or most) of the Oscars in 2014. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds so awesome, more of an artistic and thrilling fix than anything, I'd like to check it out soon.

    ReplyDelete

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