5. Gravity Shows Us A Different Type Of Hero
The defining character in the film is Dr. Ryan Stone, played by Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock. Bullocks character of Stone is, no doubt, a hero, but she differs quite remarkably from other Hollywood heroes who so often, in one way or another, illustrate mythologist Joseph Campbells hero of the monomyth. In the case of Gravity, we have, at the onset of the film, all of the dynamics that typify the Hollywood heroDr. Ryan Stone, along with co-astronaut Matt Kowalski (played by veteran actor George Clooney), confront incredibly challenging circumstances and show fortitude in their efforts to resolve the crisis which increases and increases in severity. But as the disaster continues to unfold, the audience is given a different type of hero. As Stone jettisons from one spacecraft to another, we are asked to seriously consider that Stone will not complete her mission. Stones emotions vacillate between restrained optimism and utter pessimismeven at one point resigning herself to an abandonment of her mission and her life. Bullocks portrayal of Stone is soft spoken, humble, inward and even existential, thus lacking the traditional characteristics of a hero who, in addition to being typically male, is headstrong, risk taking, and unreflective. Bullock and Cuarón give us nuance and humility in Dr. Ryan Stone and thus suggest a different course for heroes (and anti-heroes) in other films to come.