Review on Gravity
Sandra Bullock in shorty-shorts and a tank top hugging all the right places does not conjure up the image of a NASA medical engineer in outer-space. Sexy Sandra does a decent striptease whenever she wiggles out of her spacesuit and moves around freely within the chambers of the shuttlecraft in Gravity.
Unfortunately, gorgeous George, as in Clooney, is nowhere in sight whenever Sandra tosses aside her suit. George’s loss!
Gravity is a story about Dr Ryan Stone (Bullock) and soon-to-retire, veteran, astronaut commander Matt Kowalski (Clooney), being stranded out in the wild-blue yonder, while battling or more accurately, dodging the maelstrom of flying space debris. Like Dorothy, they have to find their way home, but unlike Dorothy, there isn’t a pair of magical red shoes to save them.
Despite the scenes of ballet-like movement, synonymous with astronauts and spacewalks, the movie is fast paced and holds the viewer in suspense throughout the unfolding story. The fact that I found myself physically holding my breath in several scenes is indicative of the tense, engaging and riveting story line.
Kowalski however, zooms around in a Manned Manoeuvring Unit (MMU) or jetpack in a laid-back fashion, but is masterful and yet gentle when necessary. Kowalski’s upbeat yin balances against Stone’s more reserved yang, and his references to beating real-life cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev’s space-walking achievement of 82 hours 22 minutes, is meant as a tribute to the Latvian and his, as yet unbroken record.
Famous for his entertaining version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, which incidentally went viral, real-life, former commander of the International Space Station (ISS) Chris Hadfield, speaks glowingly of the movie production’s realistic portrayal of life in space. According to Astronaut.com, the space cowboy quipped ‘If I were to fly again, I want to fly with Sandra.’
Garrett Reisman, NASA astronaut with three spacewalks under his belt, enthuses about the movie’s faithful depiction of the interior space chamber and even of the labels and buttons on the control panel. In a report on Forbes.com, Reisman speaks of Stone turning, ‘the correct valves,’ when she attempts ‘to shut off oxygen flow to the Soyuz.’ ‘It is amazing how many things ‘Gravity’ gets right,’ he says.
An undisputed aficionado of outer space, Director Alfonso Cuarón, and also his son, Writer Jonas Cuarón, have attempted to faithfully reproduce the cosmos and man’s attempt to exist in it and they have succeeded beyond expectation.
Kudos to both the Cuaróns, for an outstanding production!
© 2013 Wendy Robinson
It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small. ― Neil Armstrong
It’s funny. When we were alive we spent much of our time staring up at the cosmos and wondering what was out there. We were obsessed with the moon and whether we could one day visit it. The day we finally walked on it was celebrated worldwide as perhaps man’s greatest achievement. But it was while we were there, gathering rocks from the moon’s desolate landscape, that we looked up and caught a glimpse of just how incredible our own planet was. Its singular, astonishing beauty. We called her Mother Earth. Because she gave birth to us, and then we sucked her dry. ― Jon Stewart, Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race