Gravity: A Heart-Stopping Masterpiece (Review)

REVIEW NOTE: The following is based on an IMAX 3D viewing.

After years in development, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity has finally been released. The wait has been well worth it as Cuarón has created not only a non-stop heart-pounding thriller but also one of the best films of the year.

The premise of the film is simple. Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a medical engineer on her first mission, and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), a veteran astronaut on his last mission, must fight to survive after their shuttle has been destroyed by debris and left them adrift in space.

Gravity film still

A major story thread throughout the film is how vastly differently Kowalski and Stone handle the crisis and also life. Stone is in mourning. She has become withdrawn and oblivious to the marvels of space around her. Kowalski is engaged and savoring every moment of his last mission. The two are the perfect yin and yang archetype characters. Clooney is excellent in the role of Kowalski, bringing the charm and confidence you’d expect a veteran astronaut to have, but make no mistake; this is Sandra Bullocks time to shine. I won’t tread too deeply into spoiler territory, but Bullock spends a lot of the film by herself on-screen.  She manages to deliver a performance that keeps the audience not only engaged in the story, but also on the edge of their seats while rooting for her to survive all of the obstacles thrown at her. This was Bullock stepping out of her comfort zone as an actress, and the result is one of the best performances of the year.

gravity-movie-bullock-astronaut

Gravity is truly an extraordinary cinematic achievement. Cuarón uses CGI to create a world based in reality rather than fantasy. The creation of realistic space shuttles and space stations and the use of 3D truly draw the viewer further into the experience. The theater melts away around the edges of the screen, and you begin to feel that you are also adrift in the vastness of space with the characters. The technical advancements made in Gravity will serve as a challenge to other innovators to match or exceed. Cuarón’s well known use of extended sequences is back and used to great effect. The opening 20 minutes of the film really stood out to me. By the time you reach that point in the film, you have gone from a Godlike perspective of Earth to that of the astronauts working to complete their mission to actually being inside the suit with Bullock as she has become detached from the space shuttle after the debris hits it, all in one seamless shot, a feat that only a director with a complete understanding of his craft would be brave enough to attempt.

B

Gravity is a mesmerizing survival thriller that makes advancements in both CGI and 3D storytelling and is consistently entertaining. This film demands the full immersion experience, so, if capable, see this in the IMAX 3D format. The experience is intense, thrilling and one of the greatest cinematic experiences of the year.

Did you see Gravity this weekend? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

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***The views expressed above are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Nerdy Minds (Magazine) as a whole. But they might.***

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