Once in a while there comes a movie that will simply blow your mind. But it wouldn’t shoot your brains out American Beauty style, it will be that good kind of blowing – pun intended and all. For me, and for so many of my fellow bloggers out there, Gravity is that movie of 2013 which simply took us, shook us, threw us around, comforted us and eventually just blew us away…. into space.
To express the immense power Gravity has, one doesn’t really have to look far, they can just describe the opening of the movie because that’s the moment where Gravity grabs you, right there in the beginning. A sentence “Space has no sound” appears with a powerful track playing on the background and in a moment of musical climax, Gravity appears and then pitch black silence! I know I’m not doing it justice by describing this, but chills, proper chills and the movie had run for no more than a half a minute – it was just that intense. And the great news is that the movie kept that intensity throughout, with few breaking points, well placed action sequences and a couple of calm moments in the midst of it all.
That’s what I remember the best, the calmness after and before the storm, literally a storm of satellite pieces orbiting in space, because those where the moments I was allowed to take all of it in. Because with all those action scenes I was just too busy looking at the screen to even form coherent thoughts. So those important scenes where the director Alfonso Cuarón allowed the plot to slow down a bit for the main character Ryan (Sandra Bullock), where also the few occasions where the audience was able to breath. What I’m trying to say is that Gravity was really smartly paced, not just for the characters but as well as the audience.
One of my favorite scenes from the movie was one of those calm after the storm moments, Ryan has finally reached the Russian space station and has stripped herself from the space suit. I’m not the only one who recognized the symbolism of rebirth in that scene because it was very obvious but it was still amazing. The concept of rebirth seems to be one of the main themes Cuarón portrays in Gravity, in addition to human strength and the power of survival instinct. Space is massive, it’s endless and scary but Gravity shows us that we are even more powerful because Ryan, a woman who has gone through so much, fights trough.
Sandra Bullock is at her best here! I almost can’t believe that this is the same woman I fell in love with while watching While You Were Sleeping because this is a whole new ballgame. She demands to be rooted for, she is that kind of an actress and I don’t know if I had liked the movie as much if somebody else would have been Ryan instead. I think Bullock was the best way to go and it scares me that she wasn’t the first choice – because she would have been mine. Though Bullock is on screen alone for the most part, for me George Clooney as Kowalski still managed to steal a bit of her spotlight. He was the hero that most Hollywood movies would push as the survivor because he was the strong and charismatic leading man who always comes out on top.. but not in Gravity.
Even now, days later I’m getting emotional just by thinking about Kowalski and his sacrifice, and I’m pretty sure Clooney is at fault here. Just as I love Bullock, I adore Clooney but Clooney is the one who has made me cry three times now! Twice during the movie and once while writing this review – damn you, Clooney and your precious face! But getting back to all seriousness, that limited time Bullock and Clooney could share the screen created a really strong and an emotional connection between Ryan and Kowalski most romantic comedies couldn’t create in 2 hours. They just fit and with a movie that has such a simple plot idea, the complexity it creates with just three characters is astonishing.
Now you’re thinking, who’s the third character in Gravity, well, it’s the scariest character of all – the space. Knowing that this character was created with CGI makes me a bit scared of the fact how far technology has come. I just recently read that the last sci-fi movie made without ANY CGI was Blade Runner and that was 31 years ago! Obviously the realism in Blade Runner and Gravity can’t be compared but honestly, Gravity is probably the most real any sci-fi has ever felt. Never I thought, that’s artificially made because the movie had so many little details that kind of added that extra something for making it more real. Eventually, the space was almost as real as the emotions Bullock was portraying and that’s pretty darn scary.
With a movie so intense and compact with meaning, it’s difficult to go into details by having it seen just once – I’m guessing this one is going to get a lot of repeat viewings after it hits the DVD rack. People will remember its visuals, they will relive the emotions, they will keep praising it years later and compare all the future space movies to that 2013 Gravity that just blew us away. I read somewhere that this is our generations “IT” movie and I must agree to a certain extent because I’m hoping there will be many more cinematic wonders in the future. But one thing is certain, Cuarón has set the bar high – really high because he took it to space, literally.0
Wonderful review! I really dug this one as well. I’m hoping that people will stop referring to Avatar as the most visually beautiful movie they’ve ever seen and replace it with Gravity. It was so much better.
In the darker sense, Gravity is much better. I mean, sure, Avatar is all colorful and playful, Gravity is the opposite of that.. and it’s more beautiful like that. I love black.. I love darkness.
Nice review Ray. Absolutely beautiful, but the screenplay was a bit lacking in spots, especially when it came to character-development.
Maybe it was a bit rough around the edges but the strength of Gravity was never about the words per say but more about everything else. Thanks for the comment!
An insanely well done flick. It’s one of those movies that’s hard to put into words, you just have to make people experience it for themselves. You nailed it though, great review.
Thanks, it required a lot of coffee and time to put thus review down.
Great review, and great film! Definitely a very powerful piece of art. One of my few complaints with the film actually stemmed from something you pointed out – ” I’m not the only one who recognized the symbolism of rebirth in that scene because it was very obvious but it was still amazing.” – I wish it hadn’t been so obvious. The use of a loose cable as an umbilical cord analogue was on-the-nose for me, especially given how beautiful the scene was otherwise.
Well, sometimes the hidden symbolism becomes too hidden and for a regular viewer, those hidden messages often stay hidden. For bloggers, yes, we tend to watch movies differently so I feel like Alfonso wanted to simplify the movie to people and despite being right on the nose, I still think it was beautiful. The less obvious one was when she emerged from the water in the end though.. so I think it balanced it out in a way.
Thanks for the comment!
Yeah, perhaps! I think for me it just distracted from such a carefully composed, gorgeous scene. A hint of the symbolism would have been fine, but it felt like it shoved it on your face a bit. You’re right, though, it was still a beautiful scene regardless. 🙂
I guess it depends who is watching. I’ve had countless of friends not understand deeper meanings of films and in this case, I doubt they’ll miss this.
Yeah, that’s true. I kinda like when films are subtler about their symbolism though; it really rewards rewatching when you can return to a film and notice meaning that wasn’t obvious on the first viewing.
Same but sometimes it’s good to just have the simple things…right in your face. 😀
Beautiful, beautiful review! “I adore Clooney but Clooney is the one who has made me cry three times now! Twice during the movie and once while writing this review – damn you, Clooney and your precious face! ” – I know right?! Having hero like that to save you and then die for you? The first part is what you want the latter – no, no without thanking him first 😛 Such brilliant casting there. I was blow away too, I don’t think anything in next few yeas will come close to this experience
Yeah. Like.. it was so painful and damn it, thinking about it makes me emotional again. I must stop thinking about it… I must….
I think it doesn’t help my emotions that I love Clooney and Bullock together as an item, or at least the idea of it, they have so much chemistry on the red carpet and I wish both of them could have survived or something. But Gravity wouldn’t be the same with that kind of a happy ending.
Great review! We’ve still not got this, don’t get it for another week or so but I’m so excited for it, the reviews have been amazing.
The reviews have been off the charts indeed, hence the reason I wanted to see it in the cinema asap.
I haven’t seen it but everything I seen/read suggests it’s an amazing experience. Of course, I can’t wait to see it. The images you’ve selected are amazing…especially the space station with the astronauts attached by wire and the earth in the background. You really get a sense of the vastness of space as well as the enormity of their work.
…colleague told me today that it was the best film he’d seen all year.
It definitely is a quiet masterpiece on many levels!