Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who also co-wrote, co-edited, and produced the film. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as American astronauts who are stranded in space after the mid-orbit destruction of their Space Shuttle, and attempt to return to Earth.

Space. The Final Frontier.

Okay, wrong film but watching Gravity is probably the closest experience that most of us will have of being in space. And that unique experience is crucial to a complete appreciation of Gravity as director Cuaron draws on the concepts of the more familiar earthbound tales of survival (e.g. a person caught in a shipwreck or lost in the wilderness), the only difference being the setting.

The re-creation of the space experience is vital for one other reason – for most of the film, there are only two characters viz. Dr Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Lt Matt Kowalski (Clooney) and without the awe-inspiring special effects, the simplistic plot would not be able to sustain the attention of the audience for the length of the film. But sustain interest, Gravity does and how!

Scifi geeks will enjoy references to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and other space movies and the symbolism peppered throughout the movie but what warms the heart ultimately is the very human story about survival – the indomitable human spirit that never gives up, despite the odds. By the end, anyone who has experienced and survived hard times will not be able to ignore the lump in the throat and the tears in the eyes.

Easily one of the films of 2013 with special mention to Bullock and Clooney for making their characters as engaging as one could hope to expect and that despite the barrage of special effects, Cuaron made us feel. And that’s whole point, isn’t it?

Gravity is streaming on Netflix.

…still there’s more…