Movie Review by Sergio Martinez
GRAVITY: Great images and special effects, but where is the story?
Two Hollywood stars, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock playing commander Matt Kowalski and Dr. Ryan Stone respectively, are two astronauts left in space as a result of an accident, they will try to survive and in the meantime have some “transcendental” conversation.
If there is something that would make people talk about “Gravity” is its magnificent setup: high in space outside the Earth’s atmosphere which allowed the filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón with the help of his director of photography and the special effects crew to make a great use of the potential that the view from outside planet Earth may offer. Having been shot in 3D certainly adds to the outstanding visual display.
The problem with “Gravity” however is that the story is too simplistic and to some extent predictable: Dr. Stone and commander Kowalski are working outside the space shuttle when an alarm call tells them to return immediately to the spaceship; debris from a Russian satellite that has recently been destroyed is coming their way causing havoc. The two astronauts are unable to reach the safety of the spaceship and are set loose in space. The occasion brings together the calm, seasoned Kowalski and a nervous Dr. Stone who was on her first space voyage. Kowalski after a few flirting words addressed to his beautiful colleague, gives a few advices to the woman, assuring her that she would make it.
There are some who compare these dialogues to those in “2001 Space Odyssey,” that great science-fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick, but that would only reveal a lack of capacity to assess the depth of what is said in movie dialogues: while in Kubrick’s movie there were in fact some philosophical, especially ethical and even metaphysical issues discussed or being implicit in the development of the story, in “Gravity” by comparison the dialogues seem to be of just basic, superficial stuff you may find in a self-help manual, even banal in the end. What makes me say that other than the references to the blue eyes (in reality brown eyes) of the beautiful doctor-astronaut, Kowalski’s “words of wisdom” don’t have much resonance with the lady in distress, although his practical advices certainly help her deal with the predicament in which she finds herself once she manages to get into an unoccupied Russian spaceship and after that into a Chinese one, all of that in a desperate attempt to get back to Earth.
“Gravity” is a movie that will be appreciated by those who enjoy great visual effects, by the fans of the two fairly talented Hollywood people who star in it, but it should be of no interest to those who may like a more serious approach to science-fiction.
Length: 91 min.
Playing at: Banque Scotia, Cavendish, Des Sources 10, Colisée Kirkland, LaSalle, Côte des Neiges, Mega-Plex Marché Central