They float up and down, joke around, generally having a yet another good day at work.
Their work maybe just another fancy version of engineering tasks, but its the location of their workplace that force them to do an extra mile.
Within a few minutes, as the audience must have expected, came emergency warning from the base. The next thing you know, the astronaut that is not Sandra Bullock nor George Clooney died, and all you can hear is these two high paid actor and actress screaming ‘Houston!’, ‘Kowalski!’, and ‘doctor… something (I forgot her generic last name and still too lazy to google it) !!’
They floated in space, with no ‘Houston’ to answer their distress signal, left alone with breathtaking view of earth’s surface.
The movie itself is more of a poetic rather than ecstatic one. It is grief, it is heart pumping, yet it is also slow and beautiful at the same time. A survival-in-space movie, covered in heartwarming conflict and great scenic moments, without actually put in too much fantasy to make it into a Sci Fi.
The scoring would be the most notable point, as loud noises many times come unprecedented. What’s interesting is, that the gravest catastrophe; satellite debris, came rocketing through their suit and space stations almost silently. There is a sense of thrill in this, making the movie, for me, come in between the genre of action and thriller.
The beauty of illogicality however, does not come similarly with the movie’s pace. I personally hate when Ryan (Sandra Bullock) waste her time, oxygen, and some other things that always seems to ran out by taking a too long time to breathe, opening up her space suit, learning how to launch the escape pod, and many other unneeded gestures. I mean, the movie is already slow without shots like floating baby-pose of Sandra Bullock, her full face trying to take just another breath for more than 20 seconds, and her sudden affection towards George Clooney that kept her from saving both him and herself.
Despite all, what Cuaron is trying to say might be worth to wait. Ryan said that it is silence that she loved most about space. She said, through image of Kowalsky, that a life of solitary can actually provide sanctuary for those who cannot let go. She said, that she just want to drive, turning on the radio without actually give a damn about what’s playing, as long as she can drive without talking. She said that she wants to be alone.
Still, what I saw was not loneliness. They were, really alone in the vast, dark, and glittery space, yet the movie never actually left them alone. Because in a place far above earth’s atmosphere, what humans concern most is simply the life of another human. She fly, she tried to escape, but nobody can escape life. At some point, she has to find a way to move on. Whether through thousands of nights driving, and working, and hoping for silence, or one monumental space accident, moving on is a phase nobody can help but to confront.
So in the end, the least she can have is an appreciation towards life, towards her weight that let earth’s force pull her to it. Because behind layers of dramatization, beyond piles of unwanted stories and unanswered hunches, Kowalski told her something that might be more precious than her own survival.
That home is there, home is always there. Yet is up to us; whether we want to find it, or helplessly waiting to be found.