Hello, internet. Or the very tiny part of the internet that reads my blog occasionally. PS you do know that I love you for it.
Anyhow, it has been a very long time since I last posted, and there is a very good reason for it: namely, school life, and its hurtling towards an end, bringing me closer to the crack of doom known as the boards. Fear not, I will survive. Or at least die trying. (BTW that might actually happen). In that case, ave, people of the internet, nos morituri te salutamus.(look it up. Interactive reading is good for the brain.)
Before I lose my head completely, however, I shall attempt to pull myself together long enough to recount my recent cinema-going adventure, and provide you with a more or less succinct review of Gravity. The lateness in providing said review was, for once, not procrastination but intentional, because I wanted people to be more or less aware of the plot before I embarked on analysing it. Hopefully you have already watched the film, or are familiar with the basics of the plot. If you’re not, HAHA TOO BAD.
Also my wifi was down for like 3 months so yeah.
Also my wifi was down for like 3 months so yeah.
I’ll start off with this: Gravity is stunning, and worth every penny and second of time spent on it.
Look, I’ll be honest. I hardly ever go to the cinema. I couldn’t see the point of going for a long time, because, hello, one of the perks of belonging to the internet generation is the availability of illegal downloads. That attitude, I now realise, was mainly to mask my pain at always being broke (ah, you think denial is your ally-but you merely adopted the denial. I was born in it, moulded by it.) and as a result not being able to afford tickets because I already spent my allowance on, say, snacks, or extra downloads on the internet (do you see the vicious cycle here). Once I accepted the wondrous joys of a collective viewing experience, there was still the minor matter of the inadequate allowance to get around, and long story short, the times when I go to the cinema are few and far in between, and when I do, I try to make sure that it’s worth the precious few bucks (Iron Man 3. tsk tsk. Not even the bestie’s delightful presence could make up for the disappointment in the air).
So when I walked into the theatre for Gravity, I was praying to Kronos and Hades to let it be worth it, especially as this time, the patriarch had accompanied me to the hallowed halls of Inox. Imagine my delight, then, as I walked out after a meagre 91 minutes, at experiencing not only immense satisfaction but awe, happiness and an overwhelming urge to cry. I knew I wanted to watch it, because it has been directed by none other than Alfonso Cuaron of Pan’s Labyrinth and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban fame (hands down the best one in the franchise). But I was not expecting the overwhelmingly emotional ride it would be.
This film truly provides a complete cinematic experience. Not only is it visually spectacular, it also has several layers of storylines that make it truly distinctive in the genre of action films, where so often a threadbare plot is supplemented by a lot of bangs and smoke. It is, of course, a space odyssey- but it is also the story of a survivor. At another level, it is a story of catharsis- of letting go of the past. At yet another plane, it is a horror film. I know they marketed it as a “thriller”, but please, no thriller could have terrified me as much as this film did. Imagine, for a moment, that you are suspended in space. A collision with an object has set you spinning uncontrollably, and you are moving further and further away- from any anchor, from humanity, from earth, from life- pinned in nothingness, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Debris flash by you with no warning whatsoever- there is no sound except the frantic beating of your heart and your cracked cries for help. But there is no one to hear you. There is nothing to hold on to. There is no friction to stop your movement. You will drift into space, further and further, and watch your air supply diminishing, and eventually, you will simply suffocate and die.
Yeah, that actually happened in the film.
Can you imagine the sheer helplessness of it?! If anything, the film made me look at astronauts in an entirely new light. I’d never before considered the risks involved in their journey (I know. How incredibly stupid, even for me.) Nor had I ever taken into account just how skilled they really need to be. And the silence! At one point, Sandra Bullock’s Dr Stone mentions that what she loves the most about outer space is the absolute quiet that reigns there. But that silence was then her deadliest enemy- a constant reminder of how utterly alone she was. That, I think, was the worst part for me (I was actually palpitating). Suddenly, the allure of space was gone, to be replaced only by an ancient terror of the alien, hostile environment it presents. Humankind’s attraction to the stars is no new phenomenon and I, too, have felt its irresistible pull, especially since I dived headlong into the world of physics and questions about the origins of the universe, recently. But only now do I realise how precious our fragile earth is, how beautiful something as simple as mud, and weeds, and the warmth of the sun can be. It was certainly an epiphany- perhaps not a realisation, but a reminder.
Sandra Bullock’s performance of a scientist tortured by her past is stellar. Even the last few shaky steps that she takes, standing up in the mud of earth, her face breaking into a dazzling smile as she exults, wring the emotions from the already overfraught heart of the viewer (or, more accurately, just me). George Clooney is also admirable as the humorous, hardened veteran who willingly sacrifices himself so that Dr Stone can save herself (this would be the crying part I was referring to). As strange as it may sound, the only consolation for me, in face of the horrifying fate he had chosen, was the thought that not long before the end and even beyond it, he would see what no man has ever seen, tread where man will not go perhaps for hundreds of years. He would see past the farthest reaches of space known to man, past even the vision of the Hubble telescope, alone in the incomparably vast universe. That was the only thought which helped erase some of the horror of the anticipation of his end.
This was also the first 3D film I’ve watched that truly utilised the potential of the 3D technology- other films use it and exploit it, while Gravity harnessed it. The 3D effects were integral to the central theme of the movie and its visual impact: it wasn’t just a ploy to get peasants like me and possibly you to shell out a few extra bucks. There were parts where I actually ducked, convinced that the bit of space shuttle whirring noiselessly past Sandra Bullock’s head had been set on that trajectory for the sole purpose of decapitating me.
To sum up, I could see the future of filmmaking in Gravity, with its perfectly balanced combination of technology, plot and performance. Most hauntingly, it is, perhaps, a poignant insight into the pettiness of humanity when placed in context with the unfathomable magnitude of the cosmos.
And with that, we come to the end of today’s blog post. Enough srs bsness. (Hello, English of the danisnotonfire version 2.0). Here’s a beautiful PJ face for you, while he reacts to the film that you just spent a few minutes of your short life, reading about.
Isn’t he beautiful? He is beautiful. This should provide you with a clue to my next blog post, which I shall make shortly. For now, toodles.
(Is that even considered a word any more.)