Friday, October 4, 2013

Gravity Review: The Definition of a Movie Experience

Every now and again, there comes a film that shakes things up. It is called ground breaking, monumental and the film that everyone should see. So what  film has the privilege of gaining such praise? Why that would be Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity. The man behind films like Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men not only helms Gravity, but he also produced and co-wrote this space thriller. When the movie made its way to Festival circuits, viewers were awed. For months now, Gravity has had nothing but praised from the likes of critics and filmmakers. That kind of one sided critiquing is something that catches my eye. So was Gravity truly a masterpiece? Masterpiece may not be the best term for this film; but more or less.

The story of Gravity is quite simple. If you have seen the trailers or tv spots, then that's all you need to know about the plot. However, if you missed any of the film's advertisement, allow me to indulge you:  Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) finds herself in a heap of trouble after an accident above Earth's orbit leaves her stranded in space.

With no build up, Gravity throws you right into the thick of things. In the first ten minutes, the satellite is destroyed and Sandra Bullock finds herself adrift in space. Normally, I would be bothered by such a thing; but in case of Gravity, it works. While I believe there are some themes in the film, they are used with a subtly and don't play a major role in the overall plot. When it comes down to it,  Gravity has a thrilling story from start to finish; and it certainly works in the film's favor.

It's never easy to carry the stage by yourself, but Sandra Bullock showed that she can in this thriller. While this technically a two-man show, the perspective is center on Bullock's character and she does all the work. If Sandra is not at least nominated for Best Actress for the upcoming Oscars, I will be surprised. Why? Well it is one thing to play a strong character; it is another to play a strong character in a different environment, and that is exactly what Sandra Bullock does.  Don't worry, I'm not leaving out George Clooney. While I'm not biggest Clooney fan and I felt that George was being George, his role as Matt Kowalski was great for a supporting character. Still, at the end of the day, I have to take my hat off to Sandra Bullock.

There is no other way to put this: Gravity has to be one the most technically sound films I have ever seen. Cuaron's use of camerawork was awe inspiring. Where we are so use to a clip to clip format in movies, Gravity used longer cuts and showed so much in each sequence. The first person shots were used so well, it could make a some First Person Shooters jealous. There was some Questionable CG, but it didn't hurt the overall film. What certainly help the film were the visuals. Gravity had some of the best shots of Earth I have ever seen captured on the silver screen.

Then there is the film's 3D. Alright, I will be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of 3D. If you can, i suggest seeing a movie in your standard 2D.  However, Gravity has my stamp of approval of being a must see  in 3D. The film used the effect to best of its abilites; from having things fly in your face to just seeing things stand out.  Gravity's 3D is worth every penny. 

If I had to pick which scene was my favorite, it would have to be the destruction of the space station. The sequence was thrilling and the both the camera and the 3D made the destruction of the ISS that more impressive. The only scene I thought was weak was when Ryan is speaking to the farmer. I found scene hard to follow; though I did understand why it was there. 

The title above says it all: Gravity is a definition of a movie experience. Sure the movie may not have the most solid of stories; but everything in this film works. This is a must see in theaters; and if you can, check it out in IMAX. My hat goes off to everyone apart of this project as Gravity is one best movie of the year. 

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