Another informal review on a film, and this time it’s Gravity…
As I was travelling through Istanbul, I stumbled across a small cinema where I watched Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 film Gravity. As I intended not to watch movies whilst travelling (only in transit), I was advised that it was a MUST that I see it in 3D whilst out in cinemas and NOT on DVD. So there I went. The film begins, and I was captivated by the visuals and overall cinematography.
Gravity is rated a hefty 97% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, described to be ‘visually-stunning’, ‘powerful’ and ‘a masterpiece’. Now I do agree with these adjectives, the film is visually beautiful, but as I read on, more phrases begin to strike me; ‘best film of all time’, ‘a must see’, ‘a suspenseful story’. Now I am not expressing hate towards the film, I actually don’t mind it, but I really don’t see why this film is ranked one of the best of all time. Okay I get it, its visual effects are brilliant, and so too is Sandra Bullock’s acting (as always), but it’s one of those watch once and never watch again kinda films, well for me anyway.
During the half hour of the film, I was enthralled by the story, what was going to happen next, and was filled with suspense and curiosity. However, exactly at the half way mark (there was an intermission at this point) I discussed the film with a few travel buddies who also came along. We all agreed, it was beautiful but it was lacking something, we were all starting to feel a little dizzy and over space, and maybe this is what Cuarón intended to do; let us take a step into the character’s claustrophobic galactic experience. Though for the film’s entirety, it was getting a little too much. In this break, each of us guessed exactly what was going to happen next.
As the film went on, it became less suspenseful and more predictable. Since Matt Kowalksy (Mr. Clooney) let his life go, and of course in many Hollywood films at least one of the protagonists MUST stay alive in order to maintain audience captivation, that leaves Dr. Stone to kick and scream and dodge almost everything that came her way. It became almost unrealistic that she faced death so many times and still lived on (where in reality I doubt she’d have survived). Cuarón uses emotive techniques like the positioning of Dr. Stone in a foetal position as she float in her space shuttle, feeling her life slowly fade away. Although a beautiful moment, with Stone’s graceful and balletic movements, this technique was rather predictable, its meaning left nothing to the imagination, and it felt as though I was sitting in a Grade 7 English class where my teacher used to explain the stereotypical film techniques. As I watched on, the realisation that this film will have a typical Hollywood ending struck, and Gravity’s predictability began to drift me into space. Although a beautiful story, it lacks creativity, originality and captivation in its narrative. Now if this was a movie with ordinary hype, I doubt I’d make such a statement, but since there was ridiculous amounts of hype surrounding it, and heard by almost everyone about how amazing it is, I had the highest of high expectations.
Nevertheless, it is a visually stunning film with fantastic cinematography and great acting, I just wouldn’t go as far to dub it ‘the best film ever’. What are your thoughts? I’m sure you’ll disagree though do let me know :).