Gravity: A truly riveting experience

After being released on Oct. 4, Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” has become the largest box office opening ever for a film in October. This weekend I decided to check out the movie and was surprised to find it to be one of the best sci-fi thrillers I have seen.

As I had filed into the theatre with my friend in tow, I hadn’t had much hope for the movie. With its one hour thirty minute run time and four person cast I figured I’d go for the popcorn. But as soon as the theatre darkened revealing the start of the film, I was mesmerized by the 3-D effect of seeing space.

The angles the movie is shot at makes it appear as if you are suspended, floating along with Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) as they do maintenance work on a broken satellite. The film really picks up when the team gets word that debris from an exploded Russian satellite is hurtling toward them at speeds faster than a bullet. The debris crashes into their satellite and ship, tearing them apart in a stunning shot. I found myself flinching every time a piece of space debris came hurtling toward my face. Stone finds herself spinning into space with limited oxygen.

The film occasionally takes the point of view she has looking out from her helmet which is quite disorienting. Occasionally I found myself getting a little sea sick from the constant spinning that occurred from this viewpoint during the film, but it truly lets you get the feeling of being without gravity. In the most riveting scene, Stone struggles to grab ahold of a Russian space station as it is ripped apart. This added another dimension to the movie, the brilliant CGI left you truly terrified that a piece of shrapnel would suddenly come flying out of the screen and into the theatre. In a more emotional scene, Stone is seen grasping Kowalski’s hand as he is pulled out into space. Like this one, the film has several touching parts that made me tear up a bit, but don’t worry, most of the film consists of edge of your seat suspense and action.

The remainder of the movie is as equally riveting, as Stone has to fight panic, use her flight training, physics and luck to get her back to earth safely. I found myself simultaneously rooting for Stone while gripping my friend’s arm out of terror. As the credits rolled, I took a sigh of relief and took a mental note to put this movie down in my top ten. Gravity is not only a movie, it’s an experience and one I’ll definitely watch again.