I’m probably one of the last people who really wanted to see this film to only see it now. It seems like it has been released for ages. It certainly has been talked about for a long time. I tried to resist the urge to make a judgement on it until I had seen it and put all the comments I had heard and read to one side. People were very good not to give too much away, and I won’t either so there will be no spoiler.
You always hear people say ‘you must see it in a cinema’ and nowhere can that be truer than for this film. Up there with Avatar, and Titanic for a visual, encompassing spectacle, it will be far better on the big screen. See it in 3D too. The 3D is so stunning, you’ll find yourself blinking and thinking about moving your head as objects come out at you. 3D really has improved with this film and I found it much more effective than Avatar. Indeed, the woman in front of me looked like she put her arm out to catch something at one point.
The cinema also gives you the expanse, the breadth and the depth of the environment where the film is set, which is in space. That shouldn’t be a spoiler. You’d have to have been in space for the last few months to not know that about the film. The music too, and other audio effects which are not overpowering, add another sensory depth to the film, and contract brilliantly with the swathes of silence.
Somewhat biased here. I always think George Clooney is brilliant, and Sandra Bullock never really does it for me. In this film, apart from too many ‘uuhh’s’, ‘arrgghhsss’, and aarrssss’, she is good and convincing and I do like her in it. I do care about her. Mr Clooney does what he always does best. A warm smile, and commanding and trusting dialogue that always seems to enchant. He seems to have a voice you could play to babies in the womb to relax them. And if I was ever in a disaster situation and heard his voice, I would think it would all be OK. In this film, those idiosyncrasies really stand out, and make the character his. The acting is good, you care for all the characters.
The Verdict – (Don’t worry, no spoiler)
There have been murmurs that Gravity would never have an award for its script. Which is true but in a way, it doesn’t need much of one. The premise is so captivating, the idea so good. There are the odd dalliances of depth with dialogue and some films need to have good dialogue to win through. But to me, Gravity wins through almost in spite of its script not because of it. Everything else about it is so brilliant, it almost doesn’t need one. It could actually be a silent film, and you would still get the message. There is just enough of an interaction between the characters to make you care, to make you want to know what happens, to keep the film going, and that is all you need.
Maybe if the effects hadn’t of been so good, maybe if I hadn’t of seen it in the cinema, maybe if I was in a different mood, this review would be different. I’ve heard people critique the technical aspects of the film, the minute detail like a button on a console that would have been a different colour.
Normally a sucker for detail, that doesn’t bother me. To me this film is about what we try to get away from, what we may crave, and what we think we may despise. It reaches out to us, to say, you think you want to be free? Want to be alone? Want to escape? It challenges our thoughts on life, and our own as we see it, and what we want out of it. And to me it says however much we may strive to be alone we are designed to interact, designed to be to be surrounded by others, and to see them smile, and laugh and cry, for that should be our destiny. If we choose to be alone, we lose a big part of our humanity, and a big part of who we are, and we can perish. Of course, it is easy to be alone in space, not so easy on the busy A205 heading into London at rush hour on a Monday morning.
Mark Scotchford © 01/12/2013