Gravitational Forces

I saw a rather brilliant movie last week, “Gravity”. I am not a great movie buff, and when I do go for a movie, I like to go for one where I don’t engage my brains. This is especially so when I am traveling in a long-haul flight, where I can be easily recognized by my vacant expression, with eyes goggling out at the screen.

Now, “Gravity” is a brilliant movie, and I found it to be a many-textured movie. For one, there were no super heros and villains. For a part of the movie, there were just two actors, and then just one. The 3-D effects were stunning, and the feeling of being out there in space was just fantastic.

However, this is not a movie review. It is a review of some of my impressions of the movie

First, the sheer vastness of space. This is amazing. Looking from above, George Clooney talks about the beauty of our planet, and the beautiful sunset. There is a sense of wonder in his voice, as Sandra Bullock struggles with the mission. This happens to all of us – we are so caught up in deadlines, missions, ‘important things’, that we often fail to stop for a second or two, to smell the flowers, or admire a sunset. These are truly magical, and are small acts that will not only help us become better people, but will also help us truly appreciate the one planet that we all share.

Second, the sheer vastness of space. After George Clooney drifts off for his long walk, Sandra Bullock is alone. There, in the sheer vastness of space, she is alone. I have often felt that, in whatever we do, we are ultimately alone in the sense that, while we live and work with people; while we learn to be, and must be interdependent, many of our inner demons are to be fought by us. We are alone, not alone. We can be alone and not lonely. We can be surrounded by people, and lonely. Loneliness comes from a sense of alienation from our fellow human beings, and from our selves.

Yet, we must learn to be interdependent, and yet have faith in our own abilities.

Third, the sheer vastness of space. There, watching the movie, looking down at the images of our earth, once again, I was hit with the realization that our planet, wee, are but small pieces of the great cosmic puzzle, and while we fan our egos at the altar of the corporate or business or political or any other ladder, we need to be aware of the transitory nature of our life spans, but the longer term nature of the effect that we create on the people, and the environment around us.

Fourth, the sheer vastness of space.  When Sandra Bullock was floating in space, and she and George Clooney found the bodies of their dead colleagues floating in space, when George Clooney floated off into space, and when she was faced with the same prospect (as the heroine, we knew she would survive!), I was struck by the immaculate and benign indifference of the universe. It simply carries on. It is not affected by our concerns, our wars, our egos.

We are a blip in time.

Respect for nature, our colleagues, and our fellow travelers is something that is mission critical for us, for our long term survival as a species.


  1. like your article, you have a more positive eyes on this movie than i do. I looked shallow compared to yours.

    it is my honor to have my post linked in here. ^.^

    1. Hi, thanks. The movie, as a story is quite simplistic, actually. My learnings were not drawn from the story itself, but from the visuals, and a few scenes

      1. the visual and the music are great, no doubt. it purely belongs to panoramic theater in stead of average cinema screen in 3D. Kind of wasted, especially we only hv small cinema in HK!

  2. Hi Rajiv,

    This is a great post. To do full justice Gravity does need to be watched in a theatre with full Dolby and 3D effects, seeing it on a flight is a big NO NO.. It then does become a great cinematic experience.

    As they say. all roads lead to Rome and all perspectives in space do point us to its sheer vastness. Blip in time and space yes. But we then are left wondering at the sheer complexities existing within the blip.



  3. Good to read your article Rajiv, and good to hear from you after a long time. I wanted to see this movie (I m a movie buff), but children dragged me to Krishh 3. Shall sure watch ‘Gravity’ soon.

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