Gravity: The Future of Film
By Sean Molloy
Gravity is nothing like anything else that is going to put on the silver screen this year. It is not so much a movie as it is an experience. The magic and awe of what Gravity accomplishes will be sure to make it a heavy contender for the Academy Awards, and with every nomination, it will deserve it…for the most part.
Usually my reviews start out with a synopsis, the positives and then the negatives. However, this time I have to get the negatives out of the way first as they are majorly nitpicky. Right off the bat, there are one or two serious plot holes when it comes to the script. Sandra Bullock is constantly running out of oxygen, so WHY does George Clooney continue to make her talk, asking questions about her life on Earth, her job etc. etc. I get it; he wants her to calm down and focus. But seriously, with 2 percent left in my oxygen tank, I don’t want to talk. It’s a gaping problem in the early goings on the movie. Ok phew, now that I’ve got that out of my system, let us get to the goods.
Alfonso Cuaron is just simply the master at the “long shot.” There are times in Gravity where it feels like there are no edits whatsoever. The entire film feels fluid and not jarring whatsoever. These extended cuts lead to the increased sense of despair and the overall tension of the film. Like the astronauts, the audience barely has time to catch their breath. Literally, there were four or five instances of pure, white knuckles. Cuaron understands his material in a way that makes everything on screen something you want to watch with the greatest attention possible. Cuaron initially creates the perfect situation in space, peace and quiet, tranquil and then suddenly takes a sledgehammer to it. We as moviegoers feel the crumbling with the astronauts.
Yet the story of Gravity asks the simplest of questions, how far would you go to survive? How hard would you push yourself when the situation around you is the bleakest possible? Sandra Bullock plays Ryan Stone who is in space to install a new part on the Hubble Telescope when debris comes through and destroys literally everything in its wake. Post destruction, Gravity takes on a roll of how two central characters react to such a devastating event. Clooney as Kowalski plays everything cool and collected to counter balance the panic stricken Stone. Perhaps the best part of the casting comes from Ed Harris returning to his space roots and playing the voice of Houston on the radio. He is the connection to Earth and the only sense of home that the two astronauts have. Cinematically, Gravity is a complete triumph. It brings about the greatest use of technology seen in film in a long time. The shits to a first person perspective are just brilliant when it comes to the overall tone. Again, Gravity is a near perfect film…the performances could be better but really? With this kind of movie making there’s little to complain about.