Years in the making, the new film from Alfonso Cuarón has been highly anticipated from film fans all year and now it seems the rest of the world wants to see what the fuss is about. Being promoted as an experience rather than a film is just as the visuals of Gravity are stunning from start to end. Starring Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone on her first mission in space while George Clooney’s astronaut veteran over sees a spacewalk mission to repair a satellite orbiting the earth. Things go horribly wrong when debris knocks the both of them out into space with limited oxygen, they must use their wits to find a way back home.
There is a lot to love about Gravity. All the special effects look wonderful and Cuarón and Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki has done an excellent job of making the visuals as realistic as possible while at the same time making it just as gorgeous to look at as seeing planet earth itself. Ambitiously starting with a single shot that’s 17 minutes in length, it runs so seamlessly that you wouldn’t notice. Much of Gravity is fast paced with the constant added awareness of the danger of the central characters are in. Space is a Big place and the IMAX experience really highlights that fact and amplifies the fear of being lost in space is something truly terrifying. Most of the talk about Gravity will be all about FX and the 3D. That maybe down to the B-movie plot in its simplistic outline, to me that’s a good thing. In a time where every big movie is over two hours long, it’s refreshing to see a tense 90 minute survival film that doesn’t over stay its welcome.
One thing I will say about Gravity is that there has been a lot praise thrown at the 3D element of it, claiming it as the one exception to the rule that 3D doesn’t add anything. Well, I for one disagree. Although the 3D work in is very good in it, like a lot of many other films you don’t really notice it. Maybe it’s because I was too engaged with the story or perhaps it was the experience of IMAX that made me glance at awe distracting me from the extra dimension. Gravity is in full effect when seen on the biggest screen possible. The reasons being is that it mirrors the size of space itself and the thought of getting lost out there with no chance of rescue is truly scary thought. I was on the edge of my seat throughout with a constant knot in my stomach as Cuarón keeps the action moving making you guess at every turn. So of course the fantastic and the 3D is great but still redundant, but what isn’t talked about enough are the performances. Cloonely is his usually reliable charming self that is more of emotional anchor for Sandra Bullock’s character and in the first half the audience. With that in mind it is Stone’s story and Bullock is excellent being both smart, damaged and vulnerable while finding strength deep down. Even though her character arc offers nothing new to audiences (but then again what truly does) it a good old-fashioned tale of survival against all elements and is worthy of awards. So far Gravity is the best film of 2013 offering everything you could want in 90’s. With great performances topped with earth shattering special effects matched with a classic story that’s keeps you on your toes. It’s the experience that makes you fall in love with the cinema..