I waited a week after its released but I finally watched Gravity. Right after watching it, I couldn’t come up with enough thoughts to express how I felt about watching it. Only from an empathic movie watcher perspective, I can say that I was eating compulsively for several hours just to brush off the effects of the movie. No seriously! I do it every time a movie gives me a sensory overload. Eating salty stuff usually works.
Gravity a crazy movie not because the use of IMAX 3D. Every other movie is made in 3D these days. This movie is not beyond imagination. We watch a lot of space-walking documentary crap on Nat Geo or Discovery. This movie is shocking because it doesn’t tell a little kid to grow up to become an Astronaut. Quite the opposite. If I had watched this movie in my childhood then I would have started hating space and never ever harboured any dream of going to space one day.
Gravity takes away all the misconceptions about being in space and yet it’s not a horror movie like Event Horizon. It is not about your average bunch of rag tag space cowboys going into space to save the world from an eminent Armageddon. This is space drama in its extreme reality and almost pinpoint accuracy. I think Alfonso Cuarón tried to be extra cautious about leaving any loose ends with this one (Although there may be a few). This is in fact so authentic that even NASA astronaut had to come out and say that it felt like the real thing. We, average movie goers usually don’t expect that. It could have been a lot less accurate and still it won’t have mattered much to us…. or would it?
It feels as if the creators of Gravity meant something while being that accurate. It says something about film making now a days. It is as if the film maker wanted to silence the audience about the accuracy of the facts and then move on to something completely different. True, that we are today more cynical than we were 5 years ago because of all the overload of information we receive everyday. So did people miss something in the movie while judging its exterior quality?
!!Spoiler Alert!! If you haven’t watched the movie yet and would not want to go to the theatre with preconceived notions then just stop reading here ————-
What confused me and to some extent amused me is the fact that a movie titled ‘Gravity’ was shot in zero gravity space throughout the 99% of the screen time. It starts with a few facts about space and with a defining statement “Life in space is Impossible”. This statement should have made me realize what it was about but I didn’t notice up until the last scene.
George Clooney plays a role of mission commander. His character Matt Kowalski has made multiple spacewalks before and is overseeing his last mission before retiring as an astronaut. Sandra Bullock plays a rookie astronaut Dr. Ryan Stone who is on her first mission. The mission goes horribly wrong due to some satellite debris and only Matt and Ryan survive the first impact. Ryan almost gets lost in space when Matt finds her, tethers her and carries her towards the ISS where they hope to use one of its Soyuz pods to get back to earth. On reaching ISS they find the Soyuz damaged and incapable of returning to earth. Only hope lies in the Chinese space station which is evacuated but has a pod similar to the Soyuz which can be used to get back on earth. Meanwhile the debris floating in space strike again and Matt gives up his life to save Dr. Ryan. She uses the Soyuz on ISS to reach the Chinese station between which she almost looses hope as she’s out of fuel but finds her will to live after a vision of Matt induced by the lack of oxygen (since she tries to kill herself by turning off the O2). She finds her way to the Chinese station in time before the debris strike again and starts her descend back to earth. She lands in the middle of a remote lake.
You could have actually found the plot on Wikipedia but I thought I should give a quick recap.
There are strong motifs in the story that forced me to write this review. Matt plays a role of a Prophet who although is a veteran of space, hasn’t lost his charm for it. He is constantly calm under the entire stressful sequence of events. Him finding out the lost Dr. Ryan and guiding her through in his physical as well as non-physical existence just proves his prophet like nature. He also is constantly in dialogue with all the other crew members. Dr. Ryan is like an apt student who comes through the biggest troubles of her life and comes to terms with the tragedies of her past. This one experience completely changes her. Here a theme of rebirth takes over. Be it her floating like a foetus inside the Soyuz or the birth sequence when she sheds her spacesuit upon landing on a lake to break the surface. In her crawling on the muddy banks of the lake she delivers the perfect emotion of rediscovery of life. With her fumbling footsteps, she learns to walk again…
My rating of the movie is:
1. Buzzworthy – 4.5/5
2. Worth watching once – 5/5
3. Worth watching more than once – 4/5
4. Family Viewing – 5/5
5. TV viewing – 3/5
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