“At 600 km above planet Earth, the temperature fluctuates between +258 and -148 degrees Fahrenheit. There is nothing to carry sound. No air pressure. No oxygen. Life in space is impossible.”
With that in mind, we’re off. For nearly 90 minutes, we will experience what it’s like to be in this “impossible” environment, and not even in ideal circumstances. “Gravity” is a study in things going wrong. It’s all about “What now?” and “You gotta be kidding!”
A plot summary is almost beside the point. Just know that we follow two astronauts, respectively played by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, as a mission in open space goes awry and they struggle to make it back to Earth alive.
Alfonso Cuarón, who also wrote the minimalist, straight-to-the-point screenplay with son Jonás Cuarón, outdoes himself, crafting a technically flawless special effects-driven film that really makes you feel like you’re floating in space, in parts thanks to the use of long unbroken shots and POV sequences, all in glorious IMAX 3D.
It’s visually dazzling and overwhelmingly intense and, when things turn to “pretty scary shit”, it’s quite terrifying. Imagine drifting in the great big nothing, at the complete mercy of technology which, if it breaks down, means instant doom… Heck, just skydiving is out of the question for me. I don’t even go on the biggest amusement park rides! And this, my friends, is one hell of a ride.
It’s practically the ultimate survival story, with characters defying impossible odds in order to not end up lost in the void forever. As such, this is almost more horror than sci-fi… There are many moments of sheer terror, but also instances of grace and beauty. In any case, it’s one damn thing after another and there is really no excess fat in this picture, it’s tight, tight, tight.
I don’t know what else I can tell you… This is a cliché, but it’s true : “Gravity” is a film you must see for yourself and definitely on the biggest screen you can find and in 3D. It doesn’t have a complex story, rich character development or much thematic depth, but as a pure cinematic experience, it’s hard to beat.