Movie of the Week: Gravity

Ever since I saw the first trailer for Gravity a few months ago I was really looking forward to seeing this movie. You can imagine how annoyed I was when Warner Brother postponed the UK release by a month for no obvious reasons. But last Sunday Silke and I finally had the opportunity to watch this film.

Gravity tells the story of two US Astronauts who get stranded in space after their Space Shuttle gets destroyed by a cloud of debris created by the destruction of multiple satellites. With low oxygen reserves and only one Manned Maneuvering Unit their options are very limited. In a desperate attempt to save their lives they  travel through the vastness of space to reach the International Space Station with the hope of using one of the docked Soyuz spacecrafts to return to earth.

Gravity combines spectacular visual effects with an exciting story. Sometimes you experience space as an amazing panorama with a stunning view on Earth. And in the next moment you get shown the view from within the confines of an astronaut’s helmet spinning uncontrolled in zero gravity. You experience both the beauty and the hostility of this environment. The two astronauts have to fight very hard for their survival and face more than only the dangers of space. Sandra Bullock‘s portrayal of Dr. Ryan Stone, a frightened scientist caught in this cosmic catastrophe, is very convincing.

I greatly enjoyed watching Gravity for a number of reasons. It felt like a ninety minute roller coaster ride on many different levels. While I’m usually not particular impressed by 3D live action movies (computer animated movies like Avatar look much better ) the effects work very well in this case. In the vastness of space there are simply no objects in the background which still remain blurry even if your eyes focus on them. The creators of the film also didn’t ignore the laws of physics in the interest of the script, they made them part of the script instead: objects have inertia, there is no up or down in zero gravity and sound cannot travel through space. It is also nice (once in a while) to see a science fiction movie that portrays space travel using our current technology and not some miracle ships with instantaneous travel, shields and artificial gravity.

Overall Gravity is an excellent movie with a lot of action, amazing special effects and good acting.