INTRODUCTION. Unlike most (if not all) of my beloved film-going mates, I completely missed out on Gravity during its initial run. So I have to admit… its prevailing success at The Oscars flew right over my head. Fortunately a sprinkling of cinemas across London are still playing the movie, in IMAX no less. Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece has also recently been released on DVD and whatnot.
IS IT WORTH THE HYPE? I’m addressing this question instead of typical review structure because you already know all about Gravity. You know it isn’t crap, you know it won five bloody Oscars – including Best Director. So what you really want to know now is whether or not it’s worth the hype. Short answer? Yes. But there’s also a…
LONG ANSWER. Audiences love a tight story. We love Oceans Eleven and Casino Royale and Argo. Stories that don’t dawdle and have a tendency to neatly wrap up at least most of their urgent plot lines in the final act. Gravity is a tight story. It has one premise (Life in Space is Impossible) and two outcomes (Life or Death). Every moment from start to end is a masterclass in suspense and character exposition. Space, as a setting, has lent the film a pleasing absence of detail in which everything earthly is stripped away to reveal a tender and perhaps universally comprehensible human fear. The themes of life, death, birth and rebirth are indicated through various extents of subtlety but always with gripping, touching flair.
CONCLUSION. Worth the awards, yes, although by no means an epic voyage. Let me try to put this into perspective: 12 Years a Slave is a decadently drawn out supper, hearty and imperative – Gravity is a shot of espresso that’ll leave you brilliant and bright-eyed. At any rate, both of them have something important to say about who we are as human beings.
STORY: 8/10 CHARACTERS: 8/10 REWATCH FACTOR: 7/10 OVERALL: 8/10