I’m not exactly sure about how I should start my writing about “Gravity”, not because the movie is so bad that I can’t crystalize my opinion about it (and not because I haven’t written anything in the last three weeks either), but I am afraid my poor English can not describe how spectacular “Gravity” is. But let me put it this way: “Gravity” does not only offer a story—it offers an unforgettable cinematic experience you can’t buy by watching it on DVD. Edgar Wright once tweeted that we should watch it on the biggest screen we can find in our town, again because Alfonso Cuarón does not only deliver a sci-fi with lots of visual effects—he brings a bare side-by-side comparison between human powerlessness and the enormity of the universe.
Medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) are in a space mission. This is the first space mission for Dr. Ryan Stone, while at the same time this might be the last mission for Matt Kowalsky. When they are spacewalking for repairing a communication device to earth, a disaster strikes. Their shuttle is destroyed and they are completely floating alone with nothing to deliver them back to earth or to help them communicate to the earth station. In the blackness of limitless space they try to survive and burn hope in their heart, although it is much easier for them to give up.
The ninety-minute duration is effective for us to plunge into a journey where gravity turns zero and the blue earth is right in front of you that you might just want to fold it in your arms. The rests are unblinking stars so far away floating all around in the middle of limitless space, and the sun is so bright that you can’t afford to see its spherical form but the brightness of its corona instead. You are no longer sitting on your seat: you are now floating thousands of kilometers away from earth with Dr. Ryan Stone and astronaut Matt Kowalsky. Academy, please give Emmanuel Lubezki an Oscar statue next year for his remarkable achievement in painting such a breath-taking, mesmerizing portrait of outer space. Just watching the cinematography itself has already been so ecstatic for me, the same feeling I had from Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Could you imagine seeing both sunrise and aurora from outer space, right in a single image? Could you not be eyegasmic for that?
|Have you ever imagined floating in space... alone?|
But always: behind every beauty, there is danger. However awful the earth is today, we always want to get back to our home. And floating alone in space might be one of the scariest experiences we can imagine. Even scarier: you are left with so little oxygen in your spacesuit and you have no vehicle to bring you back home. You have not enough fuel, you can not communicate to earth; there is only hope in your doubting soul that gradually runs out as the time goes. All the groundbreaking technology we invent to bring ourselves far above the earth means nothing compared to the majesty of the universe. I did not notice any religious references in “Gravity” but I kind of like to relate the movie to them—the way Ang Lee subtly put these references in his award-winning “Life of Pi”. There is limit for human thoughts, but just like the space, our hope is also limitless. “Gravity” questions our faith in the loneliest situation we could imagine, when nothing we can rely on—not even ourselves—except inscrutable, supernatural being that surrounds us everywhere.
Duet Sandra Bullock and George Clooney is the medium to transfer that message. Matt Kowalsky is a cheerful man, and it is not a hard job for Clooney. He always said “I have a bad feeling about this mission” to the station crew on earth, and then he started to make fun of (perhaps) his awful experience about his past lovers and all. He passionately wants to break the record of the longest spacewalk, and he never worries about anything. He is the one that always neutralize the situation—even in the most critical ones. And Dr. Ryan Stone by Sandra Bullock is the resemblance of our desperation. After the death of her only daughter, she has no hope. She drives with no clear destination, and she wants to be part of the space mission because she thinks that space is the best place to be alone. And when she is destined to raise hope in her self to survive, that is when our emotion involved. I can not simply forget the despair she face when she has nothing that can help her go back to earth. Sandra Bullock delivers a stellar performance that deserves accolades.
|Sandra Bullock and George Clooney deliver stellar performances|
Many people talk about “Gravity”. Not only Edgar Wright, James Cameron also recommends “Gravity”, saying that it is “... the best space film ever made”. Even former astronaut like Buzz Aldrin and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson both give their comment about “Gravity”, especially about how scientifically correct the movie is. It is now on number 39 on IMDB’s Top 250, and critics are no doubt giving it their best positive reviews about it. But whatever people say, you should not watch it just to prove the hype. I think as long as it is still playing in cinema, you should go watch it there (in 3D, of course). “Gravity” deserves my 5/5 star for its brilliant cinematography, outstanding performance by the actors, and effective storytelling by the director. The greatest movie of 2013 so far.
▲ Brilliant cinematography, outstanding acting by the cast... everything
GRAVITY | COUNTRY USA YEAR 2013 RATING Rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language RUNTIME 91 min GENRE Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller CAST Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Paul Sharma, Amy Warren WRITER Jonás Cuarón, Alfonso Cuarón DIRECTOR Alfonso Cuarón MORE INFO