Last updated on Jan 22nd, 2021 at 10:45 am
These lifelong dreams meshed somewhere along the way to become his magnum opus, ‘Gravity’, a breathtakingly beautiful, mesmerising, visceral and moving space film about a medical engineer and an astronaut, who work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.
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The film was previously on ice, owing to the fact that CuarÃ³n’s vision required technology that only surfaced in James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ in 2009. Cameron, a friend of CuarÃ³n, described ‘Gravity’ as “the best space film ever done” and also compared Bullock’s physical performance to that of a “Cirque du Soleil performer”.
Bullock and Clooney just make more sense. Jolie and Downey Jr. are talented and serve as bigger star attractions right now, but this film isn’t about big shots. Bullock and Clooney ironically give the film its own sense of gravity in terms of believability and emotional reliability.
Six months of physical training to prepare for the role
Bullock took six months of physical training to prepare for the role, mapping out each scene with CuarÃ³n and giving special attention to Stone’s breathing patterns. As a special crew member with limited experience and training, she’s most vulnerable – giving the audience a chance to share and journey with her point-of-view.
Her hard work pays off in a performance that seems anxious, elegant and spontaneous – a testament to her acting and the script. Her understated beauty helps make her character attractive, yet human.
Clooney’s role in Solaris adds another dimension to his calm-and-charming-under-pressure performance as Kowalski. ‘Gravity’ is a story from Stone’s perspective and Clooney knows this is more Bullock’s film than his. While playful at first, Clooney’s performance has a depth of peace and spirit, taking charge of the situation with unfaltering heroics. Ed Harris voices mission control, echoing his work in ‘The Abyss’ and ‘Apollo 13’.
Mesmerising special effects
The special effects are mesmerising to the point where ‘Gravity’ probably couldn’t have been filmed better if it was shot in space. Every detail and environmental aspect has been finely tuned to give you a sense of weightlessness with a fluid and unhinged camera relaying it all. The 3D is fantastic for slowly hurtling and suspended objects – which is probably why James Cameron wants to go underwater with the sequel to ‘Avatar’.
Part allegorical meditation, part character portrait drama and part deep space thriller, ‘Gravity’ is a rare and beautifully realised film that transcends the celluloid with a timeless quality. While the spectacle is enthralling and even gut-wrenching at times, we never lose sight of the touching human story at its core.
Alfonso CuarÃ³n has crafted a film to cherish, one that will amaze, inspire and leave you breathless… only too relieved to feel the ground beneath your feet and air in your lungs.
The bottom line: Masterpiece