Set entirely just outside Earth, Gravity stars Academy Award© winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as Dr. Ryan Stone and astronaut Mike Kowalsky, on a seemingly routine spacewalk mission that turn into an adversity. There hasn’t much talk about the cast because, well, it’s just the two of them. I remember while watching this film, I even overheard at the back of our seats a group of friends that mingled about having just two actors in a movie and how it had saved money by not casting more. That was by far the most stupid thing I have ever heard! I mean, Clooney and Bullock are two of the biggest, A-list movie stars in Hollywood and to add up the impeccable, first-class visual effects, I really don’t think the production accomplished this film under a tight budget!
Anyway, Clooney’s character Mike Kowalsky is a veteran astronaut on his very last mission while Bullock’s Dr. Stone is a brilliant medical engineer who is tasked to perform certain assignments only she can do. She is considered as a space rookie yet she means business – focusing on making everything “by the book” – for this is her very first mission outer space. Kowalsky is there to reassure her that everything is under control, trying to create a calm and stress-free working environment amidst all the nothingness that is space. But then disaster strikes as debris from the neighboring space station come crashing towards them forcing them to abort the mission. They fail to make it on time and the shuttle is destroyed, and they are being plunged into the abyss, floating into darkness. With little oxygen left, they search for a way back Earth, something that may deem as a suicide mission.
Written and directed by Oscar© nominee Alfonso Cuaron (Pans Labyrinth, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), this film is a rare example of keeping up with the immense hype this movie has received before it was shown to theaters. This movie made me remember why I never dreamt of becoming an astronaut growing up. And after watching this, kids, you might want to reconsider working with NASA in the future.
Watching both George Clooney and Sandra Bullock drifting farther and farther away from Earth feels like we’re right up there with them, thanks to the fantastic, immersive visuals. Clooney does a fantastic job as the charismatic, kind-hearted other half of the spectrum, but it is the other half, Bullock, who shines in this movie. I just love her subtle, controlled acting that you would get her raw emotions just by looking at her eyes. And the way of how at times the camera transitions from a panoramic view to Bullock’s own POV is pure perfection, though I don’t like that part because it scares the hell out of me from the immersion!
Nowadays we are bombarded with films that stretch far beyond its duration—lasting more than 2 ½ hours—some even say that the longer the movie, the better. You don’t need a movie that drags its story for God knows how long, Gravity rolls for only 90 minutes but you would not feel how time flies because from start to finish, the pacing, action, as well as the story knocks you out in a compelling, engaging fashion, with a fastidious mélange of superb special effects that shift from dreamlike calm, to terrifying conflict, to an abrupt, deafening silence.
Technically, Cuaron does everything right in more ways than one. More than just CGI and 3D technology, story-wise this film is not about avoiding death, but the triumph of choosing to live. Believe in the hype; Gravity is a masterpiece, one of the best films I’ve seen so far this year.
5.0 out of 5 stars