Lost and alone: ‘Gravity’ and ‘Prisoners’ in review


Mackenzie Veselik/Winonan

Movies have a way of submerging their audiences into an alternate reality. Two recently released movies, “Gravity” and “Prisoners,” bring audiences with them into new worlds rife with psychological and emotional tension.

“Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, takes place in the middle of a mission to fix the Hubble telescope.

Astronauts Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (Clooney) are struck by debris traveling at 200 mph. As a result, the Explorer space shuttle is destroyed and the two astronauts, as sole survivors, are left stranded to drift in space.

This movie takes audiences on a journey unlike any other. The ironically titled “Gravity” has absolutely stunning visual effects, which only enhance the story further.

Bullock does an excellent job of conveying the torment one would endure in a situation of this severity. She commands attention in her fight for life, battling a locale with extreme difficulties.

An element that underlines this struggle is the metaphors that are present, such as rebirth, the human will to live and also self-preservation. Director Alfonso Cuaron is responsible for the genius behind this film, having also written the screenplay.

“It’s a roller-coaster ride, and at the same time it’s an emotional ride, they go together. And then, between those two rides, we can interweave them and connect those two things through themes,” Cuaron told the Huffington Post.

His previous work includes “Children of Men” in 2006, and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” in 2004.

Alongside “Gravity,” “Prisoners” is an extreme thriller that will keep viewers guessing and morally conflicted.

Starring Hugh Jackman, Terrance Howard, Viola Davis and Maria Bello as the parents of two little girls abducted on Thanksgiving, this film follows the dark reality of the pain and mystery involved in kidnapping situations. Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) is assigned to the case. The movie follows his journey in deciphering the case, as well as the parents’ struggle to maintain stability.

This star-studded film thrills from beginning to end. Viewers be warned, those looking to watch this movie because of “man candy” Jackman and Gyllenhaal will likely go unsatisfied. “Prisoners” has an eerie theme that emphasizes the twisted plot, not the attractive actors, as the movie progresses.

This film begs the question of just how far is too far when it comes to a parent with a missing child.
Jackman does a fantastic job portraying the moral battle that comes with finding the answers he needs. His character’s devotion to finding his daughter argues the justness in justification.

This movie questioned whether patience and level thinking are possible when it comes to the sensitive situation of finding a missing person.

Paul Dano, who plays suspect Alex Jones, truly becomes his character and, though he says very few words, brings secrecy with his presence alone.

“I really like the title ‘Prisoners’ because we’re really prisoners to our inner-most fears and this is all a mask of our fears really and having to go on in the world and in a situation like this it all goes,” Jackman told “The Examiner.” “I love that the writer had four divisions of grief really because people act in different ways.”

Both of these films are great examples of cinematic suspense. One thing is certain: “Gravity” and “Prisoners” are potential award-winners as the fall movie season unfolds.


Contact Mackenzie at [email protected]