By Akshay Seth, Daily Film Columnist
Published October 11, 2013
In “Cast Away,” Tom Hanks’s character, marooned alone on a deserted island, wills himself to rise above isolation. But the larger hurdle becomes coming to terms with the fact that the woman he loves has moved on. His circumstances teach him to let go, and by the end of the film, he’s truly reborn. None of it would have been effective had it not been for the sense of remoteness the movie envelops us in during the first and second act.
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“Gravity” excels because it similarly closes that gap between emotion and vision. Never before has a film so effectively magnified a human story under layers of intriguing sci-fi disconnect. It’s a perfect marriage between seeing and feeling.
A lot of the people I spoke with before watching “Gravity” said it’s the best thing to hit theaters since “Inception.” At their core, both movies try to resolve human conflicts we’ve been examining for centuries: “Inception” tackles confronting regrets while “Gravity” looks at an evolving personality. Both movies are tied together by their grandness, and it’s this grandness that lets the pathos resonate. Neither film is perfect, but both reaffirm the ubiquity of the personal conflicts we confront on a daily basis.
Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece is an extension of that ubiquity, and a film that easily makes its mark in Akshay’s Five Fave Flicks (AFFF). If you haven’t seen it yet, take solace in the fact that Fall Break has arrived. Why are you even here?