From the box office numbers, some of you reading this may have already seen the movie Gravity. If you haven’t seen it, then I am recommending you do and if possible do so in 3D. Gravity is one those unique movies that comes along only every 4-5 years that changes how storytelling and movie making is done. Past movies that have done this are Pulp Fiction and Schindler’s List.
I will try not to give away any major spoilers but the premise of this movie is that astronauts played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney face a major tragedy in space and on their own must find a way back to Earth. The story takes place in the present time and is essentially about someone stranded in a lifeboat with space being the ocean. In a sense it has some feel to it of Tom Hanks’ Castaway.
The acting in this movie is great but what really propels this movie from really good to instant classic is the way it is made. The camera angles in this movie are just awesome. A lot of the time the audience is seeing action from the P.O.V. of the actor like from inside the space suit and this only adds to the suspense. You literally find yourself holding your breath right along with Bullock.
The other aspect that is really above other movies is the sound. Right at the beginning the director makes it a point to remind the audience that in space there is no sound. No one is going to hear you scream. I’ve rarely seen a director use sound, rather make it a central ingredient of the story. I think one of my favorite scenes is when Bullock is trying to do work in space as debris pelts the vehicle around her. You never hear the debris. Most directors would’ve inserted some sound effect but this director lets you see it without the sound giving you the weird sensation of a viewing a disaster occurring round about without really being aware of it. In this way, the director puts the audience in the suit with the astronaut even if the camera can’t put you there. It is a very effective technique and the sound editing & mixing guys deserve an Oscar for their work here. I would also say the Director and Bullock are going to get Oscar nods and may be favorites to win.
Space is also a crucial player in this story. See this in 3D not just for the action but because the view from space is always something to behold and 3D is awesome for that. There is also an underlying theme to this movie and that is the progression of humans as a species and our place in the universe as a whole. From the opening scene where the audience views Earth from space and realize that in the bigger picture we are oh, so, so small, to the ending scene where Bullock literally crawls out of the water and struggles to walk inland which is what ancestors in the early evolutionary stages did, the theme of humanity’s role in the universe plays a part in the story.
This was a difficult movie to make and it is unique but the filmmakers did it wonderfully. It is a beautiful piece of work and it is worth a trip to the cinema to catch it. After all, this could very well end up taking home the Oscar for Best Picture of The Year.