Review: GRAVITY (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Review: GRAVITY (2013)

GRAVITY is a near-perfect masterpiece that qualifies as among the most stunning space movie ever made since Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.

Back in the day when I first rented a video and watched Stanley Kubrick's space-movie epic masterpiece, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY as a teenager, I was completely mesmerized with all the visual grandeur of the big black space. Till now, it remained the best space-themed movie I've ever seen so far. And now here comes GRAVITY -- Alfonso Cuaron's long-awaited return to the big screen since CHILDREN OF MEN (2006). Is it worth the wait? The answer is a big "YES".

The setup is simple: Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer on a space-shuttle mission manned by seasoned astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) who loves to share his stories with his crewmates and NASA mission control. The mission seems to go well, until suddenly a hail of debris hits toward them and killed one of the crewmates. Soon, Ryan and Matt find themselves detached from their space shuttle and drifting through the stars.
Likewise, director Alfonso Cuaron knows well how to captivate his viewers with his flawless technical expertise. Working with longtime cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and visual effects supervisor Tim Webber, GRAVITY is one spellbinding cinematic experience that hook the viewers from the minute one. Cuaron is a master when comes to the art of camerawork, and here, he favors a lot of long takes and widescreen shots to make his movie as stunning and graceful as it gets. Another worthy mention here, is the tight close-up of Ryan's helmet as well as her POV shot to capture her anxiety and frustration as she drifts around the space at a dizzying speed. The rest of the technical achievements are just as impeccable, and not to forget also is Steven Price's dramatic and eerie score that perfectly accompanies the claustrophobic mood of the movie.

As for the acting, Sandra Bullock commands her screen presence well as a one-woman show. Her performance, which requires tremendous physical demands while elicit her wide range of emotional responses is simply top-notch. Personally, I thought she deserves a second Oscar nomination after her groundbreaking first win in 2009's THE BLIND SIDE. In a small but pivotal role, George Clooney displays enough charm and personality that makes his character likable.

The stunning first 13-minute unbroken shot... and much more that you just have to see it for yourself.

If there's any flaw in this movie, I must say the second half is sometimes losing its tight pace especially during the elaborately emotional moment involving Ryan's sense of despair.

Minor gripe aside, GRAVITY is a must-see for every movie fans. This is the kind of movie that demands to be experienced at the biggest screen possible.

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