Movie Review #419: Gravity (2013)

A towering achievement in filmmaking

Gravity is a movie worthy of comparison to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) only made more relevant by advances in technology. It’s not amazing because it’s thought-provoking, but because it attempted to provide both a visual and physical experience that the average person could never have – until now. The use of space as the setting is as compelling as it is beautiful. And with the help of Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography and Alfonso Cuaron’s masterful direction, people are transported to cinematic bliss.

The film has already penetrated the Top 50 films ever list on the Internet Movie Database, which meant audiences, at least online cinephiles have grown to adore this rare offering. On its third week in theaters it’s still the most watched movie at the big screen, apt considering Gravity’s selling point is its offering of an unforgettable 90-minute trip to space with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. To be honest I think the only way you can fully enjoy the experience is by catching a screening today, as deferring until it gets released in DVD will surely disappoint people who have heard so much from this Oscar frontrunner. This is also just one of the few that utilizes 3D in such a great way that it transcends its gimmickry nature for the sake of art and storytelling; so once again, kudos to Cuaron for nailing it.

Unfortunately, the film is stained by an unavoidable problem in its premise. With only Bullock and Clooney to lean on to for the majority of the screen time, the film has a tendency to drag especially on times of dialogue or when the characters’ movements become restrained inside a spacecraft. Neverthless, it is compensated by highly intense moments that arrive sporadically, which admittedly gave me goosebumps when they came. I haven’t had that feeling in a long while and this is what truly sets Gravity apart from the latest offerings at the box office recently.

Long story short, Gravity is a visual masterpiece with a major flaw that prevents it from becoming astonishing from start to finish. But despite its problems, it’s one that I’d recommend aliens to see if they ever visit Earth to learn some of the finest works we’ve ever produced. I just hope they’re patient enough to sit through it all.

GRADE: B+

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