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Review

‘Gravity’ entertains moviegoers, leaves little space for improvement

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October 10, 2013

“Gravity” has fallen into theaters and manages to deliver to movie audiences in about every way I can think of.

Engineer Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) looked forward to going into space to be an engineer, looking down upon the Earth and gazing in glory at the big blue globe. Her superior Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) knows the feeling, but this trip may prove to be the last for everyone involved.

Movie poster for Gravity.
“Gravity” stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

Debris from a destroyed space station collides with theirs and destroys everything, except these two. With oxygen depleting and the bleakness of space to face, Stone and Kowalski will need to navigate risky territory as they try to find a way back home, lest they succumb to the deep, black abyss.

Before seeing “Gravity,” I was at a bit of a conflict. I was familiar with the director, Alfonso Cuaron, having seen his adaptation of “Great Expectations” back in high school, which starred Ethan Hawke and Gwenyth Paltrow. It was not good to say the least, and it made for an even less enjoyable experience when I had to lie about the “good parts” and “symbolism” in that film.

I was wary of this guy before, but that could not keep me from having “Gravity” pull me in, as I heard many people liked it already. So, I gave it a look, and I must say, I have not seen a better redemption in a filmmaker for quite a while; “Gravity” was just plain great across the board.

The big thing that surprised me about “Gravity” is how much it made me feel down to my stomach just watching all of the film’s events in space. The characters are sucked into vacuums and tossed around space like ragdolls, to the sound of silence at many points in the film.

Moments like those made me and many others in the theatre feel agoraphobic, lonely and even a little dreadful as we watched. The atmosphere the film sets up is amazingly well done and played with great realism and humanity, making it into a truly frightening and beautiful experience.

Speaking of beautiful, “Gravity” is just that. The movie is surprisingly well directed, taking advantage of the rotations of the Earth to cast beautiful lights and bleak shadows on the actors and set. Every shot out in space gives a grand feeling of awe, like that of actually being in space itself. However, there are also smaller scenes that symbolize rebirth, death and human triumph and feel relatively reminiscent of “2011: A Space Odyssey.”

Like that film, the music compliments the setting and events of “Gravity” well, as it alternates between both quiet and loud scenes, which amp up the intensity. The acting, like the music, also was very on cue. I was very surprised by Bullock’s strong yet vulnerable performance and by Clooney’s role as the lighthearted and reassuring Kowalski. Both actors carry the movie well and in the end make it.

While there is a lot of praise I can give for the film, the only drawback to it I can find is that it can feel a bit boring during some parts. Sure, the film only clocks at an hour and 30 minutes, but some parts felt so slow that I was hearing a snore halfway through the movie. This, however, is only a simple warning to some moviegoers that should not prevent you from seeing the film.

“Gravity” is a wonderfully good film that captures the spacewalking experience in its entire thrill and existential terror and it will certainly go down as one of the best films of this year. So for moviegoers, go see “Gravity” and get sucked in.

Ryan Funes is a lover of all things movie, TV, video games and stories and wants to become a television writer someday. In his spare time he enjoys hanging with friends, tapping into his imagination, and watching cartoons of all kinds.