Just another movie review…

Recognize the theme? You’re absolutely right. That’s the top-rated, box office hit, audience attracting magnet Gravity. The scribbling above was done by Katie Mack based on the suggestions from a lot of tweeters (including Tyson) who want Gravity to be renamed as “Angular momentum”.

So, I watched the “Wonder” of 2013…

Ah..!!! Finally… Gravity is now in our Indian theaters too. And, I just watched it. I feel quite ashamed to write a review after 20 days from its initial release. Pardon me, but I just can’t resist. Okay, the film was marvelous, enthusiastic, incredible, fantastic, thrilling, overwhelming, and whatever you wanna call such emotions, etc. I suggest everyone to watch it (in 3D of course) before it’s outta this country..!!!

The movie’s plot isn’t very great. Normal day, normal spacewalk, when Clooney & Bullock (attached to their shuttle) play around with the instruments (on their service mission to Hubble) when a call comes from NASA that a debris created by a Russian missile has grown into a chain reaction and they must abort the mission immediately. Debris comes, rips everything into pieces, kills everyone except Bullock & Clooney (you know, hero & heroine shouldn’t die at the start of the plot itself).

No way of communicating home (all satellites are dead), none to get help, haven’t got resources except their mini-thrusters, gotta do something before the debris comes around and knock them again. Being in the low-earth orbit, it takes only about 90 minutes to come back. Before that, they should get back to the dead ISS, take the almost-dead Soyuz and fly off to Houston. How are they going to survive (at all)? How they’re gonna get back to Earth? That’s the whole thing. It’s very simple.

At first, it may look like it’s just another sci-fi thriller (much like a documentary edition). But, the whole feast lies in the Visual FX. The debris’ collision, the lighting, you will get the breathtaking experience that you’re actually in space..!!! Moreover, it isn’t fiction at all. The laws of gravity, motion, the Physics itself is a perfect dazzling observable in the movie. And, it’s unlike many other movies in the sense that it hasn’t got much dialogues (other than a few sprinkles at start). Well, who’re there to speak anyway? Everyone’s dead!!! What you hear most of the time is Bullock’s crazy breath. But, she’s the heart of the plot. It’s all about her survival. Duh, One-woman show…

Something is still bugging me (and many others who’ve tasted the outer-space). And all as the same question. Why should Clooney die? He doesn’t have to die..!!!

The “flaws”…

There were a few Physical law-breaking parts in the plot. We can’t truly rely on a movie and expect a 100% science. Can we? (even science is incomplete after all). Alright, the Kessler syndrome (called the chain reaction) can happen of course. But, that’s not where the flaw is. You can have a look at the tweets of Neil Tyson (an astrophysicist) on October 6, when he revealed the mysteries of Gravity. Truly speaking, he’s quite a “spectator” (maybe all physicists are like that)…

Firstly, as Tyson said, a medical doctor is servicing the Hubble Space Telescope (??). Even that too, can be neglected. Here comes the important part: Orbital motion. In the whole movie, you can notice Clooney & Bullock swim through space here & there, as if they were in some sort of undisturbed space flight. Nope..!!! They’re in Orbit. And, orbital velocity is a function of altitude. If you were to slow down your velocity, you’ll get into a closer orbit. So, every change in velocity of their untethered space surfing, changes their orbit (the altitude). Moreover, the Hubble is at a height of about 560 km at an inclination of 28.5 degrees, whereas the ISS is at a variable height between 330-480 km at a totally different inclination of around 50 degrees. And, the same applies to the Chinese stations Tiangong (or Shenzou). So, this clearly explains that they can’t jump like that…

Then, a few moments later, Houston orders them to abort the servicing mission and informs that all communications have been shut down due to the spontaneously developing debris activity. Not all satellites are in the low earth orbit (LEO). Only a few remote-sensing satellites are there. Because the LEO satellites experience relatively greater orbital decay, some of the communication satellites are in the medium earth orbit (a few hundred miles above LEO) whereas most of the communication satellites, GPS & Geo-synchronous satellites are further high, whose altitudes are about a 100-1000 times larger than that of LEO…

Now, you’ll be able to recall this scene, where Clooney disconnects his tether and starts to drift away (??). In realistic orbits, such a drifting doesn’t happen. Somehow Sandra & Clooney have tug themselves to the ISS and something is pulling Clooney from the back. It’s not Newton’s “gravity” for sure. Because, you may have seen that they got stuck to the Soyuz’s parachute in ISS and so, they’ve already attained zero relative velocity by all means. Why should he be pulled further? Like I said, Clooney doesn’t have to DIE, after all..!!!

Okay, but these flaws are not necessarily flaws, because these are all the noticeable things in a physicist point of view. That doesn’t really matter. It’s wonderful 3D visuals, the realistic outer-space, everything cheers it up. And, I don’t like to give away everything in the plot like that. Just watch it..!!! You can have expectations. Situations change from time to time. Don’t you worry, you wouldn’t have seen a movie like that. (Well, I’ve watched it twice)…


By the way, Slacker Ninja has made some serious reviewing about Gravity. Here are the points which I find ludicrously interesting (LOL)…

  • Sixty percent of the dialogue (if you can even call it that) is Sandra Bullock breathing heavily to the point where she seems like a living advertisement for asthma.
  • Somewhere after the first ten minutes you’ll expect George Clooney to pull off an Ocean’s Eleven in space. And end up feeling disappointed that it doesn’t happen. I know I did.
  • In outer space, debris kills more people than aliens, the Force or lasers ever will.
  • Why do astronauts wear underwear directly underneath their suits instead of another layer of clothes? Poor hygiene much?
  • Why does Sandra Bullock looks like that chick from “The Matrix”?
  • I don’t think most people who watched it will understand the gravity of the situation.

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