Gravity (2013)

5 Stars

Gravity (2013)

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Plot

Two astronauts (George Clooney and Sandra Bullock) become stranded in space after their shuttle is destroyed by rogue satellite debris.

Review

For much of last year I was excited for the release of Gravity. When previewers started to go berserk for Alfonso Cuarón's 7-time Oscar winner, I knew it was the must-see film of the year. But, there was just one hitch, the girlfriend wasn't keen.

Fortunately, I was rescued at the ninth hour by a work colleague and was still able to see the masterpiece in its cinematic 3D glory. I picked up the Blu-ray a couple of weeks ago and after watching it again this morning, I remembered why I absolutely loved it.

It isn't the storyline which makes Gravity. In this department it is simpler than Bambi. The film simply observes their struggle to make it back to earth from a sometimes-too-real third or first person perspective. Cuarón ensures you remember that in space, no-one hears you scream.

The film could easily have been called Stranded or Lost in Space. It is with great credit to Cuarón that he named it after the one thing that we all take for granted but find ourselves lost when it is completely absent. Without gravity, humanity, regardless of how well qualified, is just aimlessly floating around, lost without mother nature.

Despite the fact that neither you nor I are astronauts, it is a piece of cake to get straight into the mindset of the protagonists. As Bullock unscrews a bolt and discards it as we all have with Ikea furniture, it provides a telling reminder of the training that astronauts have to undergo in order to completely reshape their thinking. Fortunately, she has the experience of Clooney on his last space walk.

As the audience we are able to adjust to this dysfunctional thinking right from the start of the film. The opening pans around Earth from space, with our home planet inverted in the background, completely at odds with most modern maps.

The most remarkable aspect of Gravity is its symbolism - even ahead of the 90% of the film which comprises solely of special effects. Cuarón controls the pace of the film with such expertise that we can go straight from Bullock's panicked struggle for life, followed immediately by a slow down of pace to reflect on humanity's infancy in space. Later he invites us to take a look back at our evolution from sea dwelling bacteria to naive space explorers.

If you haven't seen Gravity then you should. Make it your film to watch in 2014.

Review by on . Film Rating: 5/5