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- Gravity (2013) reviewed by Rebecca Strauss
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Synopsis: Sandra Bullock stars as medical engineer Ryan Stone aboard the STS-157 space shuttle. On her first mission an annoying setback quickly turns into a deadly reality. Suddenly Stone and the only other surviving astronaut, Matt Kowalski (played by George Clooney), face nearly impossible odds for survival. Stone’s perseverance is put to the test to find out just how far she is willing to go to once again feel the pull of gravity.
Reviewer’s Rating: 4.5/5 reels
In the film Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón manages to create a world in which the audience not only feels lost in space with the characters, but where the audience is also on the edge of their seats, sucking in oxygen while something as foreign as space suddenly becomes an all too real death-threat. As a director of many films including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Cuarón is no stranger to suspense, and this film definitely does not disappoint.
Gravity’s story is incredibly well written. There is a very visible character arc where Ryan Stone transforms from a panicking mess who has no motivation for life to a perseverant woman who chooses to believe in life’s purpose and value. The script manages to explore core values such as the meaning of life, the purpose of living, and the power of love, while simultaneously being both humorous and believable.
The cinematography too is not only breathtakingly stunning but is also so believable that it never once draws the viewer out of the story; instead it keeps the audience experiencing space in all of its vastness. In order to preserve the believability of this film, Cuarón even went so far as to develop a new special technique to give the realistic sense of having zero gravity on camera.
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are fantastic actors and almost perfectly cast for this film. The only reservation this reviewer had about Bullock was that she seems very much like a rookie astronaut and not at all the sort of person that NASA would spend a fortune to send into space. That being said, Stone’s credibility with NASA is well established at the beginning of the film. Also, it is important to note that Stone’s rookie tendencies would be very normal for anyone experiencing the world of space for the first time. In that regard, Bullock completely brings to life the feeling of having no control over one’s surroundings and no reason to live, while still finding a very real purpose for life out of the chaos.
This film is very ambitious in that it is extremely artistic, has only one character the majority of the time, and yet still attempts to entertain the average moviegoer. Cuarón, however, does an incredible job of keeping the audience engaged the entire time. The film is the perfect length with just enough suspense to leave the audience gasping for breath at the end of the film and marveling at the force of gravity.
By: Rebecca Strauss