re:View – Gravity

Film Review by Mike Bonner.

Put simply: this movie is awesome. Truly awesome. Not in the typical, American jock sense, but in the truly awe inspiring, astounding sense. You will love it. If you’re teetering on the edge of your seat whether or not to go, do it, get up, don your trendy 3-D glasses and make your way to the nearest cinema because you will regret it if you don’t.

Much like this review, Gravity wastes no time getting down to brass tax. It doesn’t mess around with a backstory or intro but rather simply outlines why life in space is impossible with a few lines of text and then cuts right into things. Space. Darkness. The beautiful curvature of the Earth comes into shot as the camera pans leisurely across the globe. It’s a stunning view, with effects that could fool you into thinking that you are truly in outer space. The Earth remains a constant throughout the film, a beacon of hope in an otherwise hauntingly desolate setting. After a time the voice of seasoned astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) crackles over the intercom and this is where things really begin to kick off.

Despite having an array of characters at the beginning of the film, a devastating turn of events leads to a communications black out, leaving only Clooney and Bullock’s character, Dr. Ryan Stone, a genius medical engineer, to provide the speech for the rest of the film. Now this may seem a drag, but in reality it’s brilliant. Alfonso Cuarón and his son have crafted one of the most intricate and interesting dialogues of, dare I say it, this generation.

But possibly even more astounding than the speech, are the effects. With a hefty one hundred million dollars fuelling the film, its no surprise the film is of good quality, but you would definitely think that it would have cost a lot more (makes you wonder what Disney did with that three hundred million on Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End). The thing to remember is that none of Gravity is filmed in zero-gravity. Each scene, each step is painstakingly thought out. This becomes even more amazing when you encounter our astronauts not only flying around with jetpacks but also fighting zero-G fires and more often than not trying to keep their helmets from flying away. Cuarón also had prototype filming methods, such as new camera booms, specially made for some of the sequences.

Gravity has done something different. It is unlike nearly any film of its ilk. The opening sequence itself breaks free from traditional cinema tropes, leaving it a whole ten to fifteen minutes before a single cut is made, Tarantino would feel ashamed when watching this film.

The film in its entirety not only shows the audience the most hostile environment known to man, but it places them there. With characters who actually feel real and with a plot that isn’t either about reaching the moon or rocketing up into space to blow up an asteroid headed for Earth, but rather with one that is simple and unnervingly understandable. But amidst utter terror and crisis Cuarón still holds on to beauty, with images of hope, survival and rebirth, Gravity appears not only as a tremendous film, but also a piece of art too.

From the ground up Alfonso Cuarón has created a masterpiece; a piece of cinema that will most certainly go down in history. With a minute cast that feels as strong as the fellowship in Lord of the Rings and with masterful direction and script writing, Gravity has definitely broken free of its Earthly bonds and been able to explore new realms of cinematic genius.

So, the further and further I get into this review, the more and more obvious it becomes that Gravity is definitely up there with the cinema titans, earning an astounding and well deserved 9 out of 10.

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