REVIEW: 'Gravity' keeps feet firmly planted in reality, dark beauty
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 22:10
In space, the only sound is the sound of your radio — until there’s no one to talk to.
Engineer Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and pilot Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and the rest of their crew are on a mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. All goes well until a large debris field tears through the area, separating Stone from the space shuttle and launching her off into space; cold, dark, beautiful space.
Clooney pursues her, kicking off the rest of the story and a great worst-case-scenario adventure in space. That’s all that can be said without giving anything away.
“Gravity” was a movie I wasn’t sold on through the extensive marketing. The trailers never captured my attention. Even the lead actors, Bullock and Clooney, weren’t enough of an excuse to want to see the movie. I’m not one to jump on a hype bandwagon, and “Gravity” had a large one.
However, it’s nice to see a movie that matches up with the hype.
In a world of many action movies, it’s nice to have something that’s slower-paced and personal. The pace is surprisingly supported by a simple story where something deeper, complex and metaphorical would be expected. Do not expect “Apollo 13,” “Space Cowboys” or “Armageddon” when entering the theater, because you may be disappointed after the first few minutes.
One of the highlights in the movie is the fantastic visuals. There are great shots of Earth at different times of the day as seen from space, star shots that make one feel small and insignificant and shots that capture the immense scale of space compared with a couple of astronauts.
Another defining element of “Gravity” is the music and the silence. The silence was practically another character because of its many appearances and quiet strength. The music was soft and added to the emotions.
For all the open space, the movie has a close feel. The emotion of the characters is as real to the audience as their own emotions. You could feel and almost taste the hopelessness. It made the movie more powerful and meaningful, so there’s something you take with you when you leave the film.
The movie increased its immersion experience through the regular use of first-person perspective. It was an effective strategy to bring the audience into the various characters’ roles and into the movie. It’s a technique rarely used in movies. It’s mostly seen in theme parks and video games.