The new film from Alfonso Cuaron certainly lives up to its mammoth billing, but even in my wildest dreams did I expect something this extraordinary, this crushing and this powerful. It’s simply a shattering experience throughout its 90 minute duration and Cuaron (as he did so magnificently well with Children of Men) crafts his film with dynamic orchestration that doesn't allow for filler or over-exuberant events unnecessary to the progression of his film.
Gravity is a magnetic experience. The first element you discover and appreciate concerns the visuals, and oh my god do we have some mind-blowing photography to witness in this glorious piece of cinema, but the true definitive force of Cuaron’s film lies in the tension and suffocating fear he constructs. All of it crushes onto the shoulders of Sandra Bullock’s Ryan Stone and she handles the pressure expertly, utilising prolonged sequences of isolation and silence to her advantage and it hits the viewer like nothing else.
To experience death is punishing and Bullock enforces the sensational pain of it through her description of her late daughter, but Gravity’s terrestrial strength focuses heavily – obviously – on the threat of isolation and how terrifying it truly can be. Just imagine that for a moment. You’re lost in space and no one is there to hear you, let alone safe you. That is terrifying. Gravity’s silence extends that fear.
As far as criticism goes towards Gravity, a lot of the indifference people have towards it will weigh on the dialogue and while that is a worthy complaint in some areas I found it to be essential. It adds a human edge to the destructive nature of proceedings, allowing the viewer to understand the pain and fear trembling inside of Stone. Piercing through the crushing suspense that forms through Steven Price’s refined score is the passion and drive of Cuaron’s commitment to the intimidating persistence of this groundbreaking piece of science-fiction. Nothing deserves to be compared to the legendary status of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Gravity’s structure is more than recognisable because of those glorious visuals and the most marvellous use of 3D ever.