Occasionally, there comes a movie that explores a particular field in a very unique way unlike any of its predecessors. "Jurassic Park" changed the way we saw dinosaurs and triggered our imagination in a whole different direction. "Gravity" does the same thing with respect to space. It unfolds space before us in intriguing and intimidating ways.
How does it feel to walk in space - engulfed in darkness and silence - where direction and time have no meaning - with the Earth rotating below you as the only reference? The silence is deafening. You are disoriented. Everything up there orbits around the earth - right from the huge International Space Station (ISS) to accidentally dropped nuts and bolts.
The movie's plot is based on Space Debris, a subject that I first read in Michael Crichton's "Andromeda Strain". I was so fascinated by it that I even did a small research and wrote a one-page article for our company's magazine in 2004. Avoiding collision with space debris has been a challenge for space agencies worldwide. This movie leverages on the many dangers of space debris.
What happens when debris traveling at high speeds collide on your space station? What happens when you are thrown out in space and you yourself become one of those objects orbiting earth - with nothing to hold on to? Literally, you become a satellite. And eventually you run out of oxygen and die - and your corpse keeps orbiting. Worse if your space suit is damaged - the high difference in pressure sucks everything out of your body - and the extremely cold temperature freezes you instantly like a rock.
The movie shows how astronauts Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) go through one of the worst nightmarish space debris collisions and struggle hard to survive! Is it even technically possible to survive? I don't want to reveal more!
"Gravity" is a technical marvel in movie-making. Watch it in 3D; it makes you feel as one of the astronauts up there.
The director, Alfonso Cuaron, has craft-fully overstepped on some scientific facts to spin a fictional story. But, for the common eye they are sure to go unnoticed; everything looks genuinely real. The only thing that made me feel "Oh please!" is that - they put the blame on Russians for the whole incident :-)