Sci-fi film Gravity draws in audiences

In Alfonso Cuaron’s space thriller Gravity, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney.) On what should have been a routine spacewalk, disaster strikes with space debris destroying their shuttle, leaving the two alone is space with no immediate help on the way.

Gravity is terrifying with an opening single tracking shot that emerges the audience into the zero gravity atmosphere alongside our characters, and a non-stop, pull-no-punches pace that promises a heightened pulse for the duration of the film. It is an original film from the remakes and sequel obsessed Hollywood with a female as the lead and major drawing name and I could not love it any more than I do.

George Clooney is used for his easy charm and ease in playing the mentor role, always the voice of reason and relaxed persona to the edgy Stone. But the shoulders that the movie rests upon are Sandra Bullocks’, who undoubtedly delivers the performance of her career. Bullock’s Dr. Stone is a highly intelligent, damaged, human and watchable.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Productions

Her perseverance and her fear are so captivating that it is not a struggle to keep your interest piqued throughout the duration of the running time. She makes you emotionally invested so that every decision she makes weighs heavily on the audience as well.

It is Cuaron, however, that deserves the majority of the accolades this film will be receiving. Having been at the helm of many other masterpieces (Children of Men, A Little Princess) it is a daunting prospect to keep it original in his breadth of work and yet he does-proving to consistently be one of the most innovative thinkers in the business. He see’s beauty in darkness, hope in loneliness; the imagery his mind captures speaks volumes about his ability to use simplistic images as a means to portray metaphors of life and the living.

On top of that is a gorgeously mastered score by composer Stephen Price (The Worlds End, Attack the Block) and a solid script by Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron.

Set in the vast emptiness of space, more than anything, Gravity is a character piece: a portrait of a woman whose endured immeasurable suffering and who looks at every new day as a challenge. Cuaron has constructed a film whose characters main challenge isn’t survival, but the will to survive-to keep on living. It’s the basic human nature, flawed and vulnerable but also determined and fearless, that allows what could have simply been a visual spectacle to be elevated into one of the most beautifully harrowing film of the last ten years.

Cuaron has advanced filmmaking (much like James Cameron with Avatar) as a medium to such a degree that it’s almost like a bet, a bet for other filmmakers to try and do better.

This film takes you far and away, into the stars, into the abyss, and a long way from home but this film more than any other this year has made me root for the undeniable human spirit.

Gravity is out now.