Sunday, June 08, 2014

Gravity with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

Spoiler Alert.  If you are ambivilant about seeing the movie,  go ahead and see it.  It is already on DVD so it is not going to be expensive.   Then come back and read my musings.

I saw Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.  I thought I was going to see this epic science movie. In fact, I listened to Science Friday on NPR and was convinced that the movie was worth seeing on all the special effects that made it credible.  Well, to my surprise, not only was it space filled in a realistic way, but it also contained some pretty credible lines of thinking.  It was worth seeing and thought provoking.

I am a pretty conservative person yet I was able to get through this movie without too many issues.  In fact,  the movie's use of expletives seemed totally appropriate given the life and death circumstances they were experiencing.  To my surprise the two main characters do not remain simply two stereotypical astronauts trying to survive but are developed as two individuals with frailties and faults who you want to know better.  

The movie moves along with the possibility that neither of them is going to survive as they deal with the shock of their crew's deaths and it becomes evident they have to hatch a survival plan.  In this struggle the movie explores the will to live in spite of enormous personal losses.  We see a two people deal with real life dilemmas.  One of them is a true hero and sacrifices his life for another.  

The movie was marketed with its sci fi angle yet it delivered a much needed message that life is worth living and quitting isn't an option.  The whole idea of an afterlife is subtly presented with religious icons in both the Russian Soyuz and Chinese spacecraft leading Dr. Ryan Stone played by Sandra Bullock to consider God.

It is when she realizes how helpless she is that she is open to the idea that the only one that can help her is God.  As she moves from spacecraft to spacecraft she has several interactions that lead her into realizing that there had been believers on them.  She observes that above the control panel on the post Communist Russian Soyuz she sees an icon of Jesus and the Virgen Mary.  Since this vehicle can not take her home she moves on to the Communist China's Soyuz spacecraft. To our surprise there too we find a religious icon as well.  A miniature golden Buddha sits atop of the control panel as.  What is ironic is the on the American vessel there were no signs of a religious icons.  Yet in spite of all these encouragements to seek God, she gives up and turns down the oxygen.  

Something unexpected happens.   Clooney's character appears on the hatch to her vehicle and comes in.  How didn't she get sucked out? Was it a dream, vision, or apparition?  We never really find out, but what ever it was, this intervention saves her life.  Suddenly, she realizes she needs to survive, especially for Clooney and for her deceased daughter as well. 

I can say I really liked it.  The movie was more than simple entertainment.  It had a meaningful message that is so pertinent today.  In fact, I am ready to see it again.