Monday, October 14, 2013

Gravity - A must watch

I went to see Gravity in the blackest of moods. A continued illness followed by a day that did not go to plan combined with an ill-timed nap made me as foul as Sweeney Todd when he found out Mrs.Lovett's treachery. A couple of hours later, I returned, a transformed man. A man much humbled, made to feel completely insignificant and yet blessed.

The film's story is just a one-liner - astronaut gets caught in space debris and separated from her space shuttle makes it back to earth. As simple as that.
*Spoiler end*

No twists. (So that spoiler alert's pretty useless.) No turns. Nothing else apart from that one line to be talked about at all as a plot.

But who needs an elaborate plot, when you have the best tool in film-making ever known to humankind - screenplay. From the very first short, Alfonso Cuaron (the man who made the best and possibly the only good Harry Potter movie till date - Prisoner of Azkaban), casts a wizard's spell over his audience that will not fade a long time after they exit the movie hall. Mere events, one following another with sparse dialogue sprinkled here and there keep your eyes glued to the screen.

Mere events indeed. But how they come to transpire. Like flies trapped in a bell jar, we see our own projected selves hovering in the emptiness of space and the even more dreadful emptiness of time clutching at straws to survive. One minute you push yourself back at your seat trying hard to evade debris from the Russian space station. Next minute you are at the edge of the seat trying to thrust yourself at the Chinese space station. Here at last, after a long time, ladies and gentlemen is a movie that truly makes use of the 3-D medium unlike those rubbish factory made super-hero trash that we've been fed in recent times. Here at last, I daresay is the successor to 2001 A Space Odyssey in sheer visual power.

While the visuals do stun you, they would fall flat if the acting does not measure up. Here, I feel Clooney stands shoulders above all. (there are very few people in the 'all', I know) We barely get to see his face, but the actor shows he can still charm the pants off anybody with just his voice. Too bad we never get to hear the ending to his rather interestingly set up Mardi Gras story. Sandra Bullock delivers just about perfect. She has now officially proven that marvellous acting can be produced by just breathing. The dialogue as mentioned above is spartan and very effective.

While not as great as The Odyssey's score, the movie's music stays true to purpose. If not anything else, it definitely gets your heart racing and pulse quickening at the right moments.

Well, that's about how much I can analyse this movie. Cause words only go a certain distance. Here we are, ants on an anthill going about our tiny lives with our insignificant worries and cares, while just above our heads lies not a world, but a universe to explore. And exploring we are, like a curious child stretching out his arms to cross over the threshold of his playpen.

This film, my friends is a homage to all those intrepid souls who sit on the childlike fingers of humanity and seek forth. Not because we must. Not because we have to. But because we want to. Because we can.

P.S. In the film, Kowlasky (Clooney) gives a bit of advice. 'You are low on Oxygen. Sip not gulp. Wine not beer.' That applies to the movie itself. Sip it and savour it.

P.P.S. After you have watched Gravity and got your spirits up, go watch Children of men by the same director so that you can harbour delicious dark suicidal thoughts! :-) He is good, this Alfonso.