In Review: Gravity (3D)

by Mairéad Roche on 06/11/2013


It is a common theory that for humans to really appreciate being alive, it is good to have a certain level of adversity for them to overcome. In director Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, co-written with his son Jonás Cuarón, the challenges facing Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are quite frankly, astronomical.

Bullock’s Stone is a medical engineer on her first space station mission orbiting Earth. Stone’s quiet professionalism provides a sharp contrast with her mission-mate Kowalski, the optimistic pleasantly gregarious veteran astronaut so used to his job that he can relax into the beauty and awe that he sees all around him. The scenario set out in Gravity is based on what is known as the Kessler Syndrome [which considers what would happen when mechanical debris in space collide or seriously impacts more important things] and sees Stone and her colleagues face the fight of their lives, alone in space where no one can hear them.

Gravity is a nigh on perfect example of a truly cinematic experience. The film’s rendering of space and the current technology required for humans to be there is outstanding with the 3D complimenting the format, drawing you in and completely enveloping the audience. The sound design plays with the reality of there not being any sound in space colliding with the psychological depth and resonance of Steven Price’s soundtrack, which enhances the visuals to create arguably some of the most stress-inducing scenes created in cinema.

The magnitude of the setting allows for an appreciated intimacy that explores what it is to be human in all our complexities. The concept of being connected is repeatedly demonstrated throughout the film and how this connection, with the ability to let go, is of fundamental importance to life. Highly likely to elicit a tear, Gravity is far from po-faced and delights in the natural stress reliever of laughter and gallows humour. The profundity within Gravity, examining birth and re-birth, is never exhausted as the 90 minute running time keeps well away from a temptation towards schmaltz. Bullock’s performance deserves many accolades for her success at keeping the humanity of her character grounded, complex and utterly believable in the film’s highly technical setting and themes.

Mairéad has awarded Gravity five Torches of Truth

5 torches

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