Sunday, 6 April 2014

Movie Review #4: Gravity(2014) - English

Gravity is an experience rather than a mere viewing.  Its one of the rarest of movies that transports you to a different world that has lasting impression even after the end credits roll.

I was told that Gravity should be experienced in 3D especially in big screen.  That was quite true.  Having watched in the big screen, I doubt whether it would be the same movie when seen in a small screen albeit in 3D.  I would even go further and say if you don’t watch it in big screen, you rather don’t watch it at all.  Please don’t mistake, Gravity is not just about visual gimmicks.  It is still character oriented.  Even if you put aside all the visuals, it still holds good as a strong character-based movie, however 3D takes it to the next level.

The movie revovles around just two primary characters, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) who are on a space mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.  Things goes awry from there and the pair bumps into one disaster after the other.  Now, Ryan just wants to do a simple thing that every strayed living being would do: Go home.  But, such a seemingly simpler task becomes herculean at every passing moment.

Making believe is one thing, but pulling completely into a movie is something amazing.I

tried to remind myself that what appears on the screen is just a movie and not a reality, but I couldn’t successfully do it.  I was even grappling the seat afraid of getting afloat by just watching the events on screen.  There is one sequence where two astronauts, connected to a rope, encounter fast moving space debris.  Viewers, please be careful - you will be ambushed.

Director Alfonso Cuarón, sets up the atmosphere (literally) slowly but builds up the events gradually with the help of some great special effects.  It could have been another disaster movie if it just focusses on the calamities, but by showing the feelings of the protagonist, we tend to get attached to her.  We get breathless when her oxygen level decresses.  We get motion sickness when she is spun out in the space.  At one point, I thought that it is futile to survive such odds and that is exactly the protagonist also concludes.  We are with her all the time and feel for her.  An unexpected motivation from an impossible source gives her the necessary energy to give a fight before resigning to fate.

Like a tiger that waits for the right moment to pounce on its prey, Steven Price, the music director, who remains in the background for the most of the time, emerges with an astounding music sequence at the final moments of the film.  I was reminded of soundtrack of the films "Memento" and "The Dark Knight" which were integral to setting the tone of the respective climax scenes.

Some more movies comes to my mind.  "Moon" was very similar in setting the atmosphere, but it was out and out a character driven movie on a peculiar environment.  "Sunshine" is another that comes close to setting up the life in spacecraft and the ever-present Sun.  But, talk about spacewalk, Gravity stays at top.

The Force is Overwhelming

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