Gravity

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Gravity
Release date: October 11, 2013
Directed by: Alfonso Cuaron
Cast: Sanda Bullock, George Clooney, Paul Sharma

Alfonso Cuaron’s latest offering at the genre he possibly loves the most (Science fiction) or the audiences love him the most for, is Gravity. With just a space shuttle and a handful of onboard crew members, Gravity keeps drifting in space with its characters and what a drift it is!

Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a Mission Specialist on her first ever intergalactic expedition along with Dr. Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) who’s on his final mission. It’s just the final walk before their return to earth, Stone is servicing a part of the spaceship, while Kowalsky is trying to break Anatoly’s record and Sherrif (Paul Sharma) is singing Mera Joota Hai Japaani. In constant touch with their Houston groundstation, they are informed of a Russian missile colliding with a defunct satellite to cause a chain reaction of collisions. Soon, communication breaks down.

The three of them are also affected by the propulsion of debris in the space. From a moment of “loving it” up there, because it’s so silent, to getting flung in an unending abyss with no gravity. The mood changes from lively to life threatening. The journey is now not anymore about planting a comm board for medical research, it’s about surviving and landing on Mother Earth alive. The screenplay then relies on simple and uncomplicated human emotions, breaking down the space talk and purely focusing on the protagonists’ insecure state of mind.

Cuaron along with his cinematographer Emmanuel Leubezki creates an excellent, enthralling picture of the extraterrestrial space by timely tracking the camera ranging between juxtaposing visuals of the blackhole-esque space and the surface of our planet on the horizon; going inside the character’s bodysuit and developing a different perspective reflecting helplessness and longing for any kind of human contact or the wish to hear an uncommon sound of a baby crying, or a barking dog.

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The screenplay is taut and never gets dull or uninteresting given the limited scope of fringe characters. Only the slight reference to a cheesy supernatural happening may get hard to swallow for a moment. The 3D is also perhaps the best you’ll ever see, it cannot be replaced with 2D photography and this is how the use of 3D should be justified in making any film on that canvas. (Yes, I wear 3D glasses over my usual vision glasses.)

Steven Price’s score emphasizes on the silence inside the vacuum and stays there in the background, doing its job and never tries to hijack what the characters are up to. Bullock’s facials aren’t played up until she loses the bodysuit in the second half. She fights fire, contemplates life and hopes against the impossible and even surrenders to fate just how a first timer Ryan would. Clooney’s Kowalsky is wired and entwined with his personal charm, providing for all the lightness in all the chaos.

Gravity may be the closest you’ll get to experience a perfect cinematic journey this year. In all its astronomical mumbo-jumbo (if you call it that) there’s an elementary story done good.

My rating: ****1/2 (4.5 out of 5)

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