Monthly Archives: December 2013
“At 600km above planet Earth the temperature fluctuates between +258 and -148 degrees Fahrenheit. There is nothing to carry sound. No air pressure. No oxygen. Life in space is impossible.”
This is the stark warning and solemn introduction to Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón’s epic space thriller, Gravity. The father and son writing/directing team share a love of film making combined with an interest in astronomy and desire to become an astronaut which are all evident in a truly wonderfully scripted adventure.
The story is simple. Astronauts Matt Kowalski (Clooney) and Ryan Stone (Bullock) are working on a space station high above the Earth’s atmosphere when they receive a distress call from mission control (voiced by Ed Harris) that the Russians have been testing missiles against their own satellites which has sent a mass of debris heading straight for them. With time against them the destruction is extreme and leaves the astronauts stranded in space with no way of getting home alive and oxygen levels drastically diminishing.
With the backdrop of the movie being viewed from 372 miles above the Earth, visually it is stunning. With a simplistic script (with the exception of factual reference) and stand out performances, Gravity will calmly pull you in and will not let go until the end credits roll. There is intensity from the moment the pair become stranded which will leave you unable to remove your concentration from the storyline due to a much needed interest and closure of outcome.
Clooney is his usual, suave self in a role that doesn’t prove too challenging to him, but it is Bullock’s mature performance (if you can refer to it as that) which really brings the emotion of the storyline to the forefront, aside from the fact that they are trapped in space. Bullock produces a performance of real power that has rarely been seen from her before and could even possibly be up there with the greatest she has ever depicted onscreen.
The final third of the movie does cast some doubt to the realization of the situation and the surroundings they are captured in will leave you feeling nauteous, but that is credit to the direction of the piece which flows through the harmony and calming nature of space to the fearsome uncertainity of the dangers it can present to us. Alfonso Cuaron has made sure they we, as the audience, feel as distressed as the main characters and the realism of the situation will leave you panting for breath.
The 2D version of this showing was preferred to the 3D version, but there were clear signs of how the option of 3D would have added another edge to this film. Without it the movie still provides a great deal of entertainment and offers an exhilarating piece of action rarely displayed in modern cinema.