Matt Kowalski: What do you like the most about this place?
Dr. Ryan Stone: Silence.
How good can a movie be, that has two pioneer actors like Sandra Annette Bullock and George Timothy Clooney as its leads, and is named after a phenomenon discovered by a revolutionary Scientist and Mathematician, who was intrigued by the fall of an apple? Too geeky? Trust me, the word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious would be an understatement!
Gravity, released in 2013, is a British-American 3-D Science Fiction thriller and Space Drama film directed, co-written, co-produced and co-edited by Alfonso Cuarón, of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban fame. He is said to have written the screenplay with his son Jonás. Also, David Heyman, of the third Harry Potter movie fame too, produced the film with him. The Running time of the movie is 91 minutes.
The movie opens grand with these words against a black screen.
“At 600 km above planet Earth, the temperature fluctuates between +258 and -148 degrees Fahrenheit. There is nothing to carry sound. No air pressure. No oxygen. Life in space is impossible.”
The Title is unveiled next. And then a very silent and tranquil earth appears.
The first scene introduces Dr.Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), being questioned by the ground personnel if she is feeling nauseous. Matt Kowalski then comes to the picture and tells Houston that he has a bad feeling about the mission. He then goes on to tell a story about how his wife ran away with a lawyer, when he was up in space on another mission previously. Just when they thought things were going all fine, Houston reports that a “Russian satellite has incurred a missile strike and that the impact has created a cloud of debris orbiting at twenty thousand miles per hour”. Kowalski then again says,” Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission. It’s the same feeling I had about Mardi Gras in 1987. “The poor fellow just doesn’t realise yet, that things are going to be far worse this time!
They then abort the mission after Houston commands them to do so. A high-speed debris strikes the Explorer and Hubble that leaves Dr.Stone staggering and tumbling through space. Telecommunication systems fail and a communication blackout happens, thus making them lose their connection with Houston. Even during this time of crisis, it’s funny how Kowalski jokes saying “Half of North America just lost their Facebook.”, keeping the moment very light! Kowalski and Dr.Stone somehow recover and decide on going back to the shuttle, sadly not aware of the fact that the Shuttle has suffered catastrophic damage and the crew was dead. They later make their way to The International Space Station (ISS).On their way, they discuss their personal lives back home, when Dr.Stone tells us the story of her daughter, who died when she slipped and hit her head at school.
When they reach the ISS, they realise that it’s damaged and that one of its Soyuz modules is missing, just leaving another substantially damaged Soyuz module, which can be used to reach the nearby Chinese space station Tiangong.This is when Dr.Stone’s leg gets entangled in the parachute’s cords, and she reaches to Kowalski, grabbing a strip on his suit. She starts pulling him towards her, but the ropes are too loose. Kowalski protests and compels Dr.Stone to stop pulling, and detaches himself from the tether. This is when he tells her, “Ryan, you’re gonna have to learn to let go.” He just doesn’t lose his sense of good humour yet. “What kind of name is Ryan for a girl? “, he asks her. She replies. “Dad wanted a boy. “. He then asks her, “So now that we have some distance between us you’re attracted to me, right?” He also quips, “Well, people say I have beautiful blue eyes.” He drifts away, making Dr.Stone the lone survivor.
She somehow manages to enter the station and tries maneuvering the capsule away from the ISS, when a fire breaks in the station. She spacewalks and tries releasing the entangled cables that prevent the Soyuz module from separating from the station. She succeeds in doing so, but the debris field completes its orbit and destroys the station. “I hate space.” she quips. She then opts to travel to the Chinese space station, but the module runs out of fuel. She loses hope, and concludes that she is stranded all alone. She decides on committing suicide and shuts down the oxygen supply of the cabin. Just when she begins to lose consciousness, Kowalski enters the capsule. He chides her for being pessimistic and gives her an idea on how to reach Earth.Dr.Stone wakes up and understands that she was hallucinating.
” Hey, Matt? Since I had to listen to endless hours of your storytelling this week, I need for you to do me a favor. You are gonna see a little girl with brown hair, very messy, lots of knots. She doesn’t like to brush it. That’s okay. Her name is Sarah. Can you please tell her that Mama found her red shoe? She was so worried about that shoe, Matt. But it was just right under the bed. Give her a big hug and a big kiss for me, and tell her that Mama misses her. You tell her that she is my angel. And she makes me so proud. So, so proud. And you tell her that I’m not quitting. You tell her that I love her, Matt. You tell her that I love her so much. Can you do that for me? Roger that? “, she is seen telling. She then gathers up all her courage and grit, and steers her way through the space, the earth’s atmosphere and then lands in the Lake Powell, in Arizona, on Earth. On reaching, she gets emotional and finally experiences gravity. Also, she now has one “helluva story to tell”.
There’s a reason why Gravity is nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Cuarón and Best Actress for Bullock. The film was also awarded seven Critics Choice Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Director for Cuarón. If you haven’t caught up with the movie in the theatres, too bad you won’t be able to experience the three dimensional aspects of the movie. But the 2-D version is sure to blow your mind too! Do go listen to Dr.Stone’s story; she has lots to tell you!