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Gravity: Movie Review

Gravity: Movie Review

Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, voice only of Ed Harrism (Rated M –  92 min).

Operatic, constantly stunning and literally breathtaking, the title Gravity is the perfect oxymoron and actually a hard film to review due to unexpected incidents that turn a trip to the cinema into a hair-raising challenge of endurance. With hand over face, gasping in certain points when I couldn’t believe what was happening, I was affected from the beginning.

Incredible story secrets should be kept that way around those yet to experience repeated chills of intense situations blended with quieter sequences that serve only to trick an audience into getting comfortable, before another boom of excitement jolts you out of the seat.  High above Earth in the outer atmosphere, a medical engineer with a veteran astronaut have to work together after being alerted by Houston mission control that sudden disaster is imminent. Floating aimlessly, with oxygen fast running out, immersed in sheer terror and fading options of survival pushing the pair into desperate measures. That’s all I can really say without positively spoiling the outcome.

Movie of the year (so far), groundbreaking in so many ways including the best use of 3D for a very long time. However the events that unfold would be just as effective without the enhanced format. Gravity ramps up the level for realistic thrills especially when you’re inside the space suit, seeing what they are seeing from within the reflective helmet. As there is no sound in the cosmos, there are long periods of absolute silence or simple sounds of breathing, or should I say, panic gasping. The perfect timing of the magnificent orchestral score from composer Steven Price also elevates the heart levels.

Scholars of the classic Stanley Kubrick film 2001 A Space Odyssey will see slight similarities in production, while a homage during an ‘airlock’ scene is there for the aficionados such as myself. Sandra Bullock as Doctor Ryan Stone is a revelation, both amusing in rare lighter moments while holding her own under complete duress, she also learns something about herself the hard way. That accelerating runaway bus she drove in Speed was nothing compared to this.

An actor who can do no wrong, George Clooney is spot on casting as Commander Matt Kowalski, keeping things in perspective he also knows the situation on hand requires ‘very’ quick thinking. Terrific cinematography illuminates the weightlessness. On face value, many may compare it to the also brilliant Apollo 13, it is unique, you will agree. It’s all about the little things, space station details, beaming sunlight, atmospheric debris, just thinking of it makes me want to see it again and again!

Shane A. Bassett

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