Maybe it’s just a film about Space. About the human fight to survive – to live – when faced with disaster (like your space shuttle being destroyed). But for me, Gravity was a beautiful piece of poetry about grief and depression. An emotional roller coaster, that left me a sobbing wreck on the walk home.
If you’ve never experienced depression, and have struggled to understand panic attacks, I urge you to go and see Gravity (preferably in 3D, obviously). The scene where Sandra Bullock is spinning out of control, unable to find anything to hold onto, unable to catch her breath, with the world outside muffled and far away, and with no one to save her had me gasping for breath. Because I’ve felt that way, often.
So many of our metaphors about breakdown and emotional pain have their roots in gravity. “Pick yourself up”, “Find your feet”, “Find something to hold on to”, “Free-falling”, “Spiralling out of control”… I hadn’t noticed them before.
In the film, Sandra Bullock is dealing with the loss of her child. Something she has to let go of, to surrender, to recognise she can’t control it… and then she has to grab on with both hands and fight to get back to solid ground.
I don’t know if it was the intention of the film, or just an accident, but I’ve never seen depression so clearly. I’m in a bit of a free-fall myself at the moment, feeling as though there’s nothing to cling on to (as everything around me is changing), but I’ve taken some hope from this film… that I will just keep going and that I will be able to stand up on my own two feet again soon.