a film directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
released in 2013.
The film focuses on Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) on her first space mission, as Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) commands his last. The Russians have blown up one of their old satellites and the debris orbits the Earth, destroying everything in it’s path.
Maybe 12 minutes into the film, disaster strikes as the Russian satellite debris becomes a menace. Every possible hope that Stone has throughout the film challenged, as she has to find solutions to problems she comes across every step of the way.
I don’t particularly like space films, because there are so many things that go wrong. I don’t like the feeling of impending doom. The dread of something bad happening at any time doesn’t sit well with me as I’m trying to enjoy a film.
This film had that “impending doom feel”. I have to say the most shocking thing was the portrayal of the dead, especially the technician. I have no doubt that it was scientifically correct, but it was still disturbing.
So, that didn’t bother me… the “science”. The look of the film was astounding. It was beautiful, and it really felt as if the characters were in outer space. I felt transported. The acting was great. There was no fault with that.
But, here are my problems with the film. It felt long. I felt like the film director was going, “oh, there could be a problem with this, and a problem with that. Oh, let’s make sure THAT doesn’t work so there is another challenge to overcome”. Granted, life is not perfect and stuff happens that we can’t control, but I just find it hard to believe that everywhere the protagonist went something would blow up in her face. In some cases quite literally.
I also think that the plot was structured in a way that creates maximum shock impact… the protagonist overcomes the shrapnel 3 times. It gets a bit exhausting after while. That makes me question the realism of the film. Not the look, not the feel, but the actions. How come the protagonist survives all the times she’s encountered the shrapnel, when everything else gets blown to smithereens? Why, also, does it so inconveniently happen (for the protagonist) that all her attempts at boarding, swapping, space walking occur during the shrapnel orbit? What was the point of setting a timer for when the shrapnel hits if you’re not going to abide by it?
These scenes which only seek to add intensity to the film frustrate me.
I can overlook them, however. Mainly because that is my own personal preference and I know that I’m looking for flaws since this is not one of my favourite genres.
There are plenty of things I did enjoy. The human approach to the adversity Dr. Stone had to endure, her struggles, and later her resolve, were all beautifully executed by Sandra Bullock. George Clooney provided the necessary comic relief very well. The characters felt relatable.
Overall, I enjoyed this film. I would recommend it for the following reasons: the acting was great and the cinematography was without flaw.