After reading about and hearing the buzz surrounding the movie Gravity starring Sandra Bullock, and a relatively short, but cameo role by George Clooney, I thought I’d go see what all the fuss was about for myself. I opted not for the twists and turns of a 3-D version; 2-D was more than enough for me to wince at the prospects of hurtling endlessly through space or being pulverized by space debris (forgive me if I spoil this for those who haven’t seen it). Simply put, the acting and the circumstances were convincing and intense.
But the creativity of the cinematography and clever plot line wasn’t what stuck with me at the end. Bullock was convincing as a savvy research scientist, clinging to life in the most precarious and unlikely circumstances possible (most improbable). Of course the metaphor of movie’s title…for returning to earth, connected to her own grieving from the loss of a child and redemptive power of renewal and resurrection was powerful and clear.
The most intriguing scene for me was when she finally made it to the capsule and in her hallucinating near-blackout, she uttered the words “I’d pray for myself, but nobody ever taught me how…” as she mused during “…my last day on earth.” Clearly, this was an amazingly bright and talented person, with innate survival skills second to none. Yet at a moment close to her demise, she laments her lack of faith more than anything else.
Movies often take us into the realm of the fantastic and disbelief. That’s why we go; to imagine some things that are completely far-fetched or unbelievable. Though we’ll never know what happens to Captain Stone (Bullock’s character), in the end, when she clutched the earth, I sensed she would lament no more, realizing she is NOT in total control, and, perhaps, take time to reflect, pause, contemplate and maybe even consider the role of God in her life; and, yes, pray.
As I left the theater, I realized why I liked this film so much: the dynamic, but complementary tension between faith and reason was at the crux. I am no movie critic, but this was as clear as the stunning views of earth from space; a view Providence can construct whenever, wherever…