|Photo: Chris White|
The film opens with a breathtaking view of Earth as we slowly come up on an astronaut crew - led by seasoned astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) and first timer Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) - working on the space shuttle Explorer. We feel like we're one of them thanks to Cuarón's ingenious camera work and Emmanuel Lubezki's brilliant cinematography. In fact, this takes camera work to a whole new level.
Things seem to be okay for the crew. Kowalsky is playing music. Everything is pretty much as laid back as can be. Then the crew receives a message from Houston that falling debris from a chain reaction satellite implosion is heading its way. The crew tries to get out but can't and the debris completely destroys the shuttle, sending Kowalsky and Stone adrift in space. The third member of their team, Shariff (voiced by Paul Sharma), was killed instantly.
Kowalsky and Stone tether to each other and make a break for the nearly-destroyed International Space Station. Adding to this already worst case scenario, the tether breaks and Kowalsky willingly lets go of his end, floating away to his death. This leaves Stone all by herself, with only a few last pointers from Kowalsky and no end to the catastrophic debris showers in sight. One after the next, we see nothing but trouble for Stone until (SPOILER) she finally reaches a Chinese escape module and safely lands on Earth - somehow.
Gravity explores a realm of filming that has never been explored before. Cuarón and the film's crew made sure that every little detail was executed to perfection. Even a shot as simple as a bolt floating away after being unscrewed and Kowalsky extending his hand to grab it.
Cuarón and composer, Steven Price, even had an answer for the most difficult part about a space film: sound. Of course, there's no sound in space so, when the cameras turned to the action in space and not inside the helmets of the astronauts, you heard nothing but an extremely muffled "boom." It was sheer genius. Gravity will leave you feeling exhausted for Stone but wanting to see it over and over again. It's a film for the ages.
I Give It An: A+
Check Out The Trailer Here