THUNDER BAY – Entertainment – If you want the short verdict before I get all thematic and psychological on you – GO SEE Gravity!
Sandra Bullock plays Dr Ryan Stone, a biomedical engineer, on her first space shuttle mission who is left drifting in space after a spacewalk goes terribly wrong. The duality in the film title Gravity, suitably foreshadows the films exploration of serious themes while keeping you riveted to your seat with its intense action scenes and nail-biting tension. Visually superb, with an absolutely stunning performance from Sandra Bullock, a solid supporting role from George Clooney and a great soundtrack, do not be surprised if this is an Oscar contender on a few fronts come February 2014.
To be quite honest, Hollywood throws a lot of trash at these big screens every year (yes, Lone Ranger, I’m still looking at you!) and often the ticket price is just not worth what is being served up, but if you are going to visit the movies one more time this year and want to make sure you get some bang for your buck, GO SEE Gravity!
Exploring themes of life and death, birth and rebirth, living vs. existing, holding on and letting go, Gravity brilliantly portrays the impact of tragedy in our lives and our responses to it. Terrifying on a very human level, director Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) has used space, the remotest of all locations to bring us a very personal and emotional reflection of our souls’ innermost struggles. And I use the word “reflection” carefully – you’ll notice very subtle placement of mirrors and reflections throughout the movie.
Everybody at some point in their lives will experience “debris” in life – that is random uncontrollable events that can impact our lives suddenly and without much warning. The gravity of such moments is always experienced in deeply personal ways but for many of us, such turbulent and sometimes tragic times can prove so traumatic that our only reaction is to close up shop and shut down. Sure, life goes on but it is in survival mode, barely existing – almost waiting for the next tragedy to hit us, as it often does. We instinctively impose solitary confinement on ourselves, if not physically then at least emotionally curling ourselves into a fetal ball, sometimes even wishing we had not been born at all.
Gravity captures the awful loneliness of the soul in these moments with breathtaking visual effects, expansive cinematography and an incredibly nuanced performance from Sandra Bullock.
But Gravity also offers hope, whether it be the simplest sound of a dog barking, or a little baby crying, a tear drop falling into space, or the sight of the sunrise on the Ganges – these simple things in an instant can affirm life, they keep us grounded – they are like our gravity in life. They speak to our soul in a way that sometimes words just can’t. They tell us life does go on, it is worth living for.
In a world currently dominated by terrorists, scare-mongering and fear, Gravity reminds us that trauma and pain is not only part of life it IS life and accepting it and dealing with it no matter how painful and how scary only makes us stronger individually.
45 years ago, Stanley Kubrick created what many claim to be the greatest science fiction movie of them all with 2001: A Space Odyssey, a frightening masterpiece that predicted if not the overthrow of humanity then the enslavement of humanity by technology.
45 years later, Alfonso Cuaron has created his own science fiction masterpiece where we may be tethered to technology but we are still in control of our own destiny. And in Cuaron’s Gravity, life and technology can be very fragile but the true conqueror is the human spirit.
A powerful and empowering movie experience. Go see Gravity.