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Gravity

Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
Director: Alfonso Cuaron

I've seen the trailer of Gravity once. When a fellow movie-lover mentioned that she was excited for it, I had to ask her why. It was, after all, just two people floating in space. I was wrong. The work was visually captivating. It was agonizing to watch one misfortune after the other, but seeing in projected in a vast area like that, all I can say is...wow. It captures your attention from the beginning, and it doesn't let go afterwards. I'm not a fan of 3-D, but I regret not seeing it in that medium. I think this may be one of those films that should be seen in the said medium, as it enhances the spacial experience. I honestly think this could be an Oscar contender for visuals and cinematography, as it managed to make space beautiful and scary at the same time.

The Explorer was on a mission to install a prototype that Dr. Ryan Stone has spent her research on. She was assisted by a few others, one of them being Matt Kowalski. While installing the prototype, they received an urgent mission from Houston, that debris from a recently destroyed Russian satellite was heading their way. They were ultimately cut off from the rest of their crew when the debris hit their shuttle unexpectedly. The rest of the film is spent with them finding a way to go home.

The plot was very simple, and it tackled on uncertainty. Here were two people who had a different outlook in the situation. One was the positive, calm, optimist person, while the other was all in shambles. Putting two lost people in an area where sound does not travel, where silence is prominent, presents a challenge, not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. It's not a situation where a solution can easily be derived, where aid can easily be sent. Cuaron, in that sense, touches on the humanity's side of things. It is through their situation that the plot can easily grapple people to pay attention. As the film plays out, you can't help but to have hope that they're going to make it through, but on the other hand, the tasks deem it improbable for their end mission to succeed, and you're thinking how they're going to end things.

Despite the simplicity of the plot, I had a problem with the dialogue, as it was riddled with cliches. Maybe it's the optimist talking, but it seemed inevitable to insert hopeful lines, that while drenched in meaning, seemed a little too perfect to say in such occasion. Sandra Bullock is an amazing actress, and she can clearly carry a film. While she had proved herself to be a versatile actress, I wasn't convinced with her performance. I've never gotten the urge from Dr. Ryan Stone, that desperation, that wanting to get home. I thought that her motives were being influenced by Matt Kowalski, who stayed positive throughout the film. Bullock was trying to convey emotions of loss and redemption, but I wasn't going for her character. I actually expected her character to be calm and collected, but the beginning shed light on the character that we're going to meet for the rest of the film. 

The film worked wonders with its cinematography. The details were impeccable and realistic; even the tears and the water droplets were floating in space. Usually movies like these would ignore non-trivial matters, but in working with detail, it was able to insert a realistic sense into it. The film was also able to portray the turmoil that Bullock was face, but was able to clash it with the silence of space, allowing a poetic movement to arise from the situation. I also particularly loved the scene when Bullock seemed to have a freeing moment, particularly when she took off her suit for the first time, and curled in peace while being afloat inside a shuttle. It really felt like a peaceful moment, that the worst was over for the moment. Such cinematic moment.

The film was shot beautifully, making space really captivating and scary at the same time. I can't help but visually compare it with Life of Pi, and how great cinematography can easily change the outlook of a film. It also helped that its original score complimented the piece, and with the editing, it was able to convey the desired emotion at the right time and the right moment. 

Gravity might not be for everyone, as on the surface, it is about people floating in space. However, it goes beyond that, and made for a stunning film. While I wasn't convinced on the acting, and the screenplay, the cinematography completely takes it away, bringing its viewer to one hell of a space adventure. It helped build the momentum of the film and it never lets go, even when it all came to the conclusion. 

Comments

  1. Glad you liked the film! I actually gave it 10 - the story works beautifully on many different levels and I thought Bullock did a great job. I thought that her awakening came from few things - mostly realizing how precious life is and not wanting Matt's sacrifice to be for nothing.

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    1. I found that scene to be amazing, as well as when the film would cut in space, looking at the turmoil of Bullock's character, but without the noise. She did a good job, but I just wasn't fully convinced with her character.

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