Gravity is a 3D movie directed by Alfonso Cuarón, which has been a major hit space thriller. Starred by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the film exploits a fiction of two astronauts who fight for their lives after a debris attack on the space destroys their space shuttle. Everyone agrees it’s an exciting, great movie. It’s visually very stunning, especially when viewed in 3-D mode. But is everything about the movie real? Have the directors and artists followed the real laws of gravity? What happened in the space, in the movie, could they really happen in space? Let’s hear what real astronauts have to say about it.
Most critics agree that the director Alfonso Cuarón and the producers have put significantly enough effort in to make it a real space experience, with realistic space shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope and ISS. Such have been vehemently praised by the astronauts. According to Mike Massimino- who was an astronaut working on Hubble in 2009 says – “In #Gravity I saw an exact replica of the Hubble Space Telescope, space suits, and the tools we used on our mission with incredible detail. I saw our #8 Power tool floating behind Sandra Bullock’s head, I nicknamed that tool ‘Yogi Berra’ who wore #8 in his baseball days.”
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock casting in the movie ‘Gravity’
Garrett Reisman is a former NASA astronaut, who’s currently a scientist at SpaceX. According to him, Gravity is a great movie – getting most of the space concepts right, while making some mistakes. He thinks that the film depicts the most realistic space walking experience, compared to all previous space Sci-Fi movies. With his 3 times experience with space walks, he feels that the film captures a very legit spacewalk, he thinks that the movements and physics of doing a spacewalk are captured very accurately. He thinks that the film makes the best use of 3-D IMAX, using it to create a real space environment, which is strange to most people, one reason why the spectators loved it.
According to Garrett, the film accurately showed the danger caused from the space debris. What he feels as the biggest step-back of the movie is that it has violated several laws of physics, and to some extent, the typical behaviour of the astronauts. The major flaw is that it’s impossible to go hopping so easily from one space craft to another. In reality, it needs a lot of planning to change orbits. As it showed in the movie, it’s impossible to find another spacecraft when you look around the space and simply go there with a soft landing jet and a fire extinguisher, just by pointing in its general direction.
Despite praising from most of the critics, some members in the science community challenges some of the space tactics used in the movie. Michael A. Interbartolo III is a NASA expert who challenged the relative motion of the shuttle, shown in the movie saying that it’s more movie magic than real science being implemented. He shot out his critics, just after seeing the movie trailer, even before the actual movie was released.
Despite of all that critic, you have to remember one thing – after all, it’s a movie. Not a documentary one where you want to show the exact reality, but a fiction where you expect to thrill the viewer, while making it near reality. In fact, all those errors do help add some drama to the movie, and to construct the story the director wants to show. In that aspect, most astronauts can agree, that Gravity is a superb movie.