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Sunday, 13 October 2013

In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream

Title: Gravity

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Running Time: 90 minutes

SPOILER ALERT: This review contains material crucial to the plot of the movie.

Space - the vast, empty void where your revolutionary ideas and cinematic ambitions are merely insignificant specks of dust. Such may be said of Gravity by die-hard Star Trek fanboys who were terribly misled by its sci-fi label, thinking it to be an account of an interstellar voyage of epic proportions. To call it a blend of suspense and drama entangled with a lot of visual treats and pure cosmic awesomeness would be more apt. Apart from its rather mocking view of the laws of physics and the human mind, it's a great film to catch on the big screen.

Yes,yes, I used to work in a hospital, but now I sort out technical glitches under zero gravity.

The movie follows the series of unfortunate satellite explosions that lead to the well-portrayed and seemingly overqualified Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) being deserted by a bunch of cold, floating corpses that were once her crew mates aboard the space shuttle Explorer, and how she makes it back into Mother Earth's caring arms after inhumanly abusing her repeatedly ragdolled, oxygen-deprived body and suffering countless pangs of hopelessness and despair at the hands of cruel fate and fossil fuel depletion. As stated earlier, the film is a feast for the eyes, and one cannot help but gape at the ever-present Earth, in all her exaggerated, computer-generated beauty, as she bathes in the light of the sun and drowns in the shadows of its absence, illuminated only by lights from numerous cities. The scene which has Dr. Stone and Commander Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) slowly drifting towards the International Space Station serves to provide a reasonable amount of character depth through dialogue, and provides a vague sense of attachment to the protagonists – the hardship afflicted, warm-hearted doctor and the uncompromising, duty-driven commander, both very well portrayed by brilliant actors. The several tense, fast-paced escape/forced entry sequences, which strongly emphasize on holding on, in both the metaphorical and the literal sense, are very well made, keeping viewers at the edge of their seats throughout. The sound effects also help to make the movie quite the immersive experience, especially Dr. Stone's panicky breathing. Gravity certainly lives up to its expectations on the thriller front. Most importantly, it makes you feel involved till the very end.

I said 5% O2 left. Do I really have to keep talking to you?

There isn't much to be said about the negatives surrounding this film. One scene in particular which did provoke a facepalm was the rather convenient intervention of Dr. Stone's conscience, in the form of her commander's ghost, during her slow, painless suicide attempt resulting from several failed shots at salvation, which elicits a change of heart quicker than the speed of light, convincing her to live on to tell the tale of she who can tell herself not to kill herself when she wants to kill herself. Apart from this and several minor mechanical inaccuracies, which are not very relevant considering it's a movie, there's nothing bad to be said about the film. In my opinion, however, it is certainly not close to the "masterpiece" everyone deems it to be.
You and I, above this beautiful world, No one cares if we die, above this beautiful world

Gravity is one hell of a thriller, and must be seen in theaters, preferably in IMAX 3D, in order to thoroughly savor all that's been served. Taking the survivalist genre to new frontiers, Alfonso Cuarón has done a fabulous job as director. Gravity is an assured one and a half hours of pure entertainment.

Reviewer's Rating: 3.5/5

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