From Alfonso Cuaron, comes one the most intense, edge-of-your-seat dramas in a very long time. Gravity will pull you in, from the opening 13-minute, uncut tracking shot to the last scene, you will be riveted. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are stellar, turning in effortless and magnetic performances that are sure to be looked at come awards season. This is a gorgeous film. The effects work is seamless, giving the viewer the feeling that they are really in space. It should be noted that the 3D in the film is spectacular and used to perfection; this is the finest example what how 3D can truly enhance a movie. This movie is best experienced in IMAX 3D. Gravity is a film that will remind you just how exciting and affecting a movie can be, it is not to be missed.
There are a few times in the movie where Sandra Bullock’s character Ryan is drifting in space. She is spinning, unable to get her bearings and alone. It is a poignant reminder of how so many people feel in life. It is so easy to feel lost, adrift in the currents of life, unable to get a sense of where we are or where we are going. The isolation of our fast-food, consumeristic lives leaves us detached from each other and drifting aimlessly as if life were nothing more than a quick succession of busy nothings. The choice becomes whether to reengage the rest of the world and seek connection or continue the isolation. Ryan faces this very same choice, does she give up and die or continue fighting to live. Through the intervention of a friend she is reminded of all there is to live for and fights for her future as well as her life.
In space, it is important to be tethered to something stable. If you are not tethered, then you are adrift and will die. The key is to be tethered to the right thing. In the movie there are a few times that the characters are tethered to parts of the shuttle or space station as it is exploding; if they stay attached, they will die. How true is this for life. May times we tether ourselves to people or things that will bring us down. It could be a dangerous relationship or the pursuit of something at all costs, each one threatening to destroy us if we continue to bind our lives to them.
In the movie, Ryan is tethered to her past. Her only daughter has died a few years ago and she is unable to move forward in life. The past has the ability to trap us. Terrible things happen every day. Sometimes they are beyond our control, other times they are our own mistakes , regardless they can become a prison. The film dramatically portrays this idea. Ryan and Matt (George Clooney’s character) have made their way from the destroyed shuttle to the ISS. As they approach the station, they try to grab on to any part of the station. Ryan’s leg becomes entangled in the parachute lines of the last Soyuz (an escape pod). She and Matt are tethered together and he is pulling her free of the parachute lines dooming them both in the process. Matt sacrifices himself to save Ryan, yet at the same time, Ryan has to let go of Matt and focus on the present if she is to survive.
Letting go of the past is crucial to moving forward in life. This does not mean that we forget the lessons of the past, the film shows us this as well. Ryan is about to give up and except that death has come. It is through remembering Matt and the lessons she has learned through training and being in space that she is able find a way forward. The past can either be empowering or crippling. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own, focusing on the present through the lens of experience is the beginning of wise living.
Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. C. S. Lewis