Newton would be amazed. You will be…
Anticipation is a dangerous thing. We’ve all been through the “Oh my God it’s going to be so unbelievably awesome” and then been hit in the face with Star Wars: Episode 1, or The Matrix: Reloaded (maybe it’s the colons, I dunno). In general, the more you’re itching to go and see a movie, the likelier it is that that the “meh” factor will be high.
So it is with Gravity. Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También, HazPot 3, and the excellent Children of Men) resurfaces with a spectacle that has critics a-raving. Oscar-clutching Sandra Bullock partnered with the devastatingly handsome George Clooney, with the whole thing is pitched as a thrill-ride with a brain set in orbit around the earth? So far, so awesome. Anticipation (and therefore potential “meh”) was high.
Once the first scene arrives though, you know that this is not going to be a disappointment. We are launched straight in to orbit, where our two astronaut heroes are doing sciencey stuff to the Hubble Space Telescope. The dialogue is snappy and funny, Clooney is dry and devastatingly handsome, and the whole thing looks just gorgeous. It’s by far the most realistic representation of space ever committed to screen. And yes, that includes Independence Day.
The aesthetic here is basically a central character. Cuarón has tried to take us as close as he can to feeling like we are actually out there. There are practically no wide shots and this allows us to appreciate the environment from the characters’ point of view, often literally replica breitling bentley 6.75. The detail is meticulously rendered, and this is easily the best use of 3-D I have seen thus far. A shot of one of our characters spinning in the ether was like a light bulb going off: his visuals managed to convey exactly what it means to be out in the void, and precisely how frightening the idea of being lost in space actually is. Suddenly “In space, no-one can hear you scream” made sense, and it was chilling.
The other element that makes Gravity so impressive is its simplicity. This is far from a complicated story. People in space, things go down, people try to get home replica breitling bentley 6.75. That’s basically it. But that’s all it needs – Cuarón and his writing partner (his son Jonas) have structured it in such a way that there is permanent tension. Sometimes this goes awry (tapping on the fuel gauge to find it’s actually empty? Puh-leeze), but it’s amazing how real and logical this film feels replica breitling Aeromarine . There is never a moment of absurdity (apart from the devastating handsomeness of George Clooney) that alienates you from the action which is no mean feat in a film set in space.
Gravity is all that it’s cracked up to be. Excellent central performances (particularly from Sandra Bullock, battling bravely with a ridiculous character name in what must have been a seriously tough shoot), great script, simple story, extraordinary visuals, editing and sound come together to produce a remarkable film. We can only hope we don’t have to wait another seven years for Cuarón’s next one.