The Buzz: Gravity

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PANIC MODE – Dr. Ryan Stone attempts to evade a dire situation (Photo Courtesy: digitaltrends.com)

I tend to stay away from the science thrillers. But with talented actress Sandra Bullock and renowned actor George Clooney in its cast, “Gravity” already had my interest piqued. Yet it was not until I walked out of the theater did I truly appreciate this 90-minute movie in all its glory.

You do not really get much from the trailer, which basically shows Bullock’s character, Dr. Ryan Stone, screaming and panicking in space for two minutes. However, this intense scene is only a sliver of the many continuous suspense scenes throughout the movie.

The story centers on a space mission led by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney) and his crew, which includes protagonist Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock), who is a biomedical engineer new to the space field. The voyage takes a turn for the worst when a Russian anti-satellite test causes a chain reaction of debris that leave the two stranded in mid-air with no communication to Mission Control. The plot eventually focuses on Stone, who never seems to catch a break with the countless curveballs thrown down her way as she tries to make her way back home.

What really made me like this movie was the pace of the plot. One of the most disgraceful mistakes a film can make is provide a slow-moving plot that will cause everyone in the audience to fall asleep. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, best known for directing “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Gravity” strategically makes the very beginning move at a slow, relaxed pace that deceives the audience into believing all is at peace in the world. Of course, all of that plummets once the first wave of debris hits and destroys everything, which causes a series of Stone’s near-death, thrilling events that kept me gripping my seat the whole time. In fact, the pace of the plot reminded me of the launch of a fast rollercoaster (Xcelator, anyone?).

Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses and she did not disappoint as  Stone. Despite the sometimes annoying screams and slip-ups her character made, Bullock gave a believable performance that truly had me fearing for the well-being of Stone.

Although I’m far from a tech-junkie, I must concede that the graphic effects of the film were quite remarkable. The Earth seemed surreal and the spacecraft looked legitimate. The various positioning of the scenes, which may have been either slanted, upside down, or from a different perspective, gave the audience the ability to truly feel as if they were in space with the characters. Unfortunately, if there is one drawback of the film, it would be just that. The constantly shifting camera angles gave me a minor headache that stayed with me even after I left the theater.

All in all, “Gravity,” which demonstrates the prowess one amateur spacewoman exhibits to make her way back home, is an inspirational film that left me feeling emotionally drained but in a good way. Cuarón and the cast manage to pull all the stops to make one of the most intense movies I have ever watched.