I just saw Gravity and…I actually enjoyed it.
I had a friend who saw it in theaters, and she absolutely hated it. She said basically it was a movie about how there’s nothing in space, and that it’s Sandra Bullock floating around gasping for air. Even the trailer did nothing more than give you the impression that it was about Sandy B struggling in zero gravity. Then I saw this “Honest Trailer” about it, and I started to think that Gravity was in fact the stupidest movie ever:
But I still wanted to see it because I’m a huge Sandy B fan. Every movie she does I think is just #brill. I love Miss Congeniality (both the original and the sequel), Two Weeks Notice, The Blind Side, Speed, The Net, The Heat, The Proposal, etc. She’s one of the few actors who I can trust will do an incredible job whatever movie she’s in, and I will at least enjoy her character if not the whole film. Since she got a lot of nominations for Gravity, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role, I decided to at least borrow Gravity from the library to watch Sandy’s performance. And what a performance it was.
The first half of the movie is really meant, in my opinion, to showcase Director Alfonso Cuarón’s graphics. Basically the honest trailer summarized this part of the movie: they crash into things, they scream, people die, nothing to meaningful happens. However, I think there comes a real turning point towards the end when Bullock’s character, Dr. Ryan Stone, is about to give up and essentially kill herself. As she’s dying, she has a vision/dream of her fellow astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), who previously sacrificed himself for her, coming in to help her steer the space craft she was on. In this dream sequence, he tells her she can either give up like she was planning or she can fight for her life and continue to live. He emphasizes to her that if she chooses to live, she has to move on with her life (you find out earlier that her daughter had died, so she pretty much grieves for her daughter and goes to work…she doesn’t have much of a life on Earth). When Kowalski, in Stone’s dream, is about to take the wheel of the space craft from her and drive it to the Chinese space station, he says to her:
“I get it. It’s nice up here. You can just shut down all the systems, turn out all the lights, and just close your eyes and tune out everyone. There’s nobody up here that can hurt you. It’s safe. I mean, what’s the point of going on? What’s the point of living? Your kid died. Doesn’t get any rougher than that. But still, it’s a matter of what you do now. If you decide to go, then you gotta just get on with it. Sit back, enjoy the ride. You gotta plant both your feet on the ground and start livin’ life.”
I found that inspiring for my own personal life: you can let problems no matter the size bog you down, or you can enjoy the life you have and not waste a second of it. Because he’s right, what’s the point of living if you’re going to hate life?
I also found this scene to be the point that creates a change in Stone in that she starts to view life differently and she actually fights to get back home; she’s not going to give up. In fact, when Stone is on her way back down to Earth [SPOILER ALERT], she says to “Houston in the Blind:”
“The way I see it, there’s only two possible outcomes. Either I make it down there in one piece and I have one hell of a story to tell, or I burn up in the next ten minutes. Either way, which ever way, no harm no foul! Because either way, it will be one hell of a ride. I’m ready.”
This was my favorite part. The spirit that Sandra Bullock embodies, her whole demeanor, is just breath taking. I feel like her character had so much growth from an almost depressed scientist who was grieving her daughter to a woman who was going to live life to the fullest and not give up. She wasn’t going to let everything that happened to her knock her down; she was going to live in spite of it all.
So Gravity isn’t about Sandy B floating/screaming/failing in space. It’s not even meant to scare people about space travel. It’s meant to tell people to never to give up on life. No matter what. Even when the odds seem to be against you. Never. Give. Up.