Plot: Space is a beautiful place to escape the torments of ordinary life back on Earth. But when debris hits the station Doctor Ryan Stone is working on, she finds herself adrift, floating through space with no way of returning home.
But she isn’t alone. Another astronaut also survived the collision and is there to guide Ryan through the hell she finds herself in. But technical and engineering challenges are only the half of it. Ryan must find in herself the drive to survive and the will to live if she has any chance of making it back to Earth.
Quote: `You just point the damned thing at Earth. It’s not rocket science!`
Opinion: I have wanted to see this film for a while. Although I knew the basic storyline was about trying to return to Earth, I had no inclination about how the film had been put together.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney were fantastic in it. Bullock brought Stone’s emotional turmoil to light in a sensitive way and made the audience connect with the character throughout the course of the film. You wanted her to survive. Clooney had a more light-hearted approach, being the voice of reason when all hope was lost and stopping the film from being too emotionally overwhelming considering the content and the backstory. Both actors were fantastic in their parts.
However, what I didn’t realise was that they were pretty much the only ones in it. There were voices of others and a few figures floating around space. But other than that, the two of them – and for the majority, only Bullock – were the only actors in the entire film. It made it different, it made it unexpected and it really worked to emphasis the vastness of space. There are not many films where there are only two actors in it yet it worked for this film.
The plot is very straightforward: astronauts need to return to Earth. I wasn’t drawn in for some time, perhaps because of the lack of other people in the film. But as it progresses, the tension increases and I found myself gripping by certain sequences, hoping that she made it. If you’re disconnected for the first half an hour – stick with it, it gets better.
I couldn’t review this film without talking about the special effects. The movement of the astronauts was well done – and I imagine seeing it in 3D would make one feel rather sea-sick given the jolty movements. The audience is positioned within the film, which again adds empathy for the characters. But in general, the effects were seamless and realistic. Despite knowing nothing about space, it looked how I imagined it would look. It even felt like space, as much as you can tell through suspended disbelief.
Overall, a film that took some getting into, but then proved to be suspense-filled, action-packed and character driven the whole way through. Not one I would rush back to, but one I am glad to have seen.