Why Gravity has Gravitas

movies-gravity-sandra-bullock_1For me, one sign of a good movie its stickiness. Does it stick with me? Do I ponder it days after I’ve seen it?

Gravity is a movie that stuck with me.

On paper it looks like an improbable contestant for stickiness.
– Just four characters inhabit the film.
– One of them is outer space.
– One never talks.
– One departs halfway through the film.
– The dialogue is limited to panic noises.
– There is no gore or sex.
– The plot-line is deceptively simple (think Lost in Space meets Castaway.)

Not much on paper.

A lot of the reviews I’ve read wax on about the technology pioneered over the course of four years to create the images of space people, space stations and space junk floating in space, sometimes in violent motion and sometimes in serene motion. The reviewers beg you to see it in 3D, and I think they’re kind of right.

Gravity is 3D worthy. It drops you into space like no sci-fi film ever has, then makes you feel like you’re thrashing about in zero gravity right along with the characters. It’s a roller coaster ride that might need a motion sickness bag if seen in 3D IMAX.

The technology behind Gravity is impressive, but the genius of the technology is its opacity. All that innovative technology runs in the background to deftly suck you into an amazing story that sticks.

Gravitas is a Latin word from which we derive our word gravity. Gravitas can be translated as weight, seriousness or dignity. It’s a word that connotes a substance or depth of personality.

The gravitas of Gravity lies in the character played by Sandra Bullock. Her struggle to survive in space becomes the pretext for a different survival. Will she will muster the will to live, years after a devastating and senseless tragedy?  

As a pastor I’ve known many people who struggle with a will to live after a tragedy. Others simply struggle with the will to live, period. That struggle is the gravitas of Gravity.

Gravity stuck with me because it’s a well told story about a common struggle to find or to choose gravitas, even in hostile spaces.

I won’t say whether Sandra’s character finds or achieves gravity. But I will say, go see this film.

And let me know if it sticks with you.


About chris breuninger

I love life, my family, and Jesus. I enjoy live music, rigorous exercise, thoughtful movies, and strong coffee. I study scripture, wine, and people. I get frustrated with narrow minds, Christian stereotypes, and gardening. My vocation is pastor, but I’m hesitant to admit that, and I’m happy when people are surprised by that.
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