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lllm 8evlew- CravlLy
Pannah Mllllner
Ctovlty was released ln 2013 dlrecLed by Alfonso Cuaron. lL's a characLer versus
envlronmenL fllm where ur 8yan SLone has Lo Lry Lo survlve whlle flndlng a way Lo
geL back Lo earLh afLer debrls desLroyed Lhelr shuLLle. 1he fllm sLarLs off wlLh Lhree
characLers a medlcal englneer ur 8yan SLone, An asLronauL MaLL kowalskl and lllghL
englneer Sharlff on a space walk. Sharlff ls kllled when Lhe debrls comes hurLllng
Lowards Lhem, leavlng MaLL and 8yan Lo fend for Lhemselves. uurlng Lhe panlc of Lhe
debrls 8yan ls knocked away from Lhe oLhers and ls ouL of conLrol. khalry suggesLs
LhaL Lhls may be because Lhe audlence are lnformed LhaL 8yan ls noL ln conLrol of her
llfe and her splnnlng ouL of conLrol away from Lhe oLhers ls a vlsual way of showlng
how llLLle conLrol she has of her llfe. 5be floots oocoottollobly becoose sbe ls oot lo
coottol of bet llfe. kowolskl oo tbe otbet booJ ls complete coottol...kowolskl soves
bet llfe oqolo tbtooqb Jetocbmeot. bot by teocbloq bet tbot sometlmes lts ok to let
qo, botb lltetolly ooJ metopbotlcolly. oo bove to leoto to let qo, be soys. (khalry,
2013) WhaL khalry mlghL be Lrylng Lo say LhaL LhroughouL Lhe fllm ur 8yan ls
challenged by her fears and ls forced Lo overcome Lhem ln order Lo survlve. khalry
menLlons a scene where MaLL ls forced Lo deLach hlmself from 8yan because he ls
sLopplng her from geLLlng Lo Lhe alrlock, and so releases hls laLch and leLs hlmself
drlfL off lnLo space, forclng 8yan Lo learn Lo move on and make Lhe mosL of a
slLuaLlon, whlch Lhe audlence ls able Lo relaLe Lo, maklng 8yans sLory a llLLle more
emoLlonally relaLable.

A large plece of symbollsm ln Lhe fllm ls Lhe use of Lhe shuLLles and space sLaLlons
belng a symbollc moLher. uonald Lalks abouL how a shlp enables a characLer Lo llve,
Lherefore acLlng as a moLher. 1be fltst ooJ most elemeotol of telotloosblps betweeo
cbotoctets ooJ tbelt sblps ls tbot of motbet-cbllJ. A motbet qlves llfe to bet yoooq,
sostolos tbem, Nottotes tbem, ooJ octs os oo oocbot, ooJ sofe boveo fot bet
cbllJteo (uonald, 1993: 124) 1hls ls a huge parL of Lhe fllm as Lhe characLers are
consLanLly Lrylng Lo geL Lo safe and sLable envlronmenL, lL's a place of proLecLlon.
1hls ldea becomes even clearer when 8yan ls ln Lhe lSS, she removes her sulL and
curls up lnLo Lhe foeLal poslLlon (llg.2), suggesLlng she ls currenLly feellng safe. 1he
secure feellng doesn'L seem Lo lasL long as she ls consLanLly encounLerlng poLenLlally
faLal evenLs. 1hroughouL Lhe fllm Lhe characLers are consLanLly seen aLLached Lo Lhe
shuLLles and space sLaLlons by a chord, posslbly symbollzlng an umblllcal chord.

!"#$%& / 34,5&% 65"7 ./0(12

8yan's parL ln CravlLy ls mosLly belng Lhe Lyplcal Pollywood woman, relylng on a man
Lo geL her Lo safeLy, whenever danger arose. MorgensLern Lalks abouL how she was
glven a mascullne name and yeL acLs llke a Lyplcal damsel ln dlsLress. veo wltb tbe
cotloos cbolce of qlvloq bet o moo's oome, tbe scteeowtltets qove bet tbe petsooollty
of o typlcol, steteotypeJ, nollywooJ womoo (MorgensLern, 2013) 1hls ls Lrue Lo a
polnL because whlle Lhe opLlon ls Lhere she does allow oLher people Lo save her from
danger however once she ls on her own she becomes a loL more empowered and
lndependenL. 8y Lhe end of Lhe fllm her sLrengLh and lndependence ls sLrengLhened
furLher by Lhe camera angles used ln Lhe lasL scene, Lhe camera ls placed low so she
appears blg, and sLable. And Lhe close up of her fooL/ leg when she Lakes her flrsL
sLep slgnlfles sLrengLh, lndependence and could be seen as a meLaphorlcal sLep
Lowards her new llfe.

1he camera angles ln Lhe fllm allow Lhe audlence Lo become emoLlonally aLLached Lo
characLers. A loL of Lhe camera angles lnvolve belng close Lo 8yans head, allowlng
Lhe audlence Lo see whaL she's seelng. Cne slgnlflcanL scene ls when Lhe camera
roLaLes and moves lnLo 8yans helmeL puLLlng Lhe audlence ln Lhe same poslLlon, buL
as Lhe camera passes Lhrough Lhe helmeL Lhe sound deslgn changes, Lhe 8reaLhlng
becomes heavler, a sLrong hearLbeaL can be heard, almosL Lrylng Lo lmmerse Lhe
audlence lnLo Lhe slLuaLlon.


8. uonald (1993) 8eyooJ tbe 5tots. locoles lo Ametlcoo lopolot lllm
(Accessed on 8/4/14)

W, khalry (2013) Ctovlty.
(Accessed on 8/4/14)

M. MorgensLern (2013) Ctovlty kevlew.
(Accessed on 8/4/14)

llg.1 Ctovlty (2013) lrom Ctovlty. ulrecLed by Alfonso Cuaron [lllm osLer] uk:
LsperanLo lllmo[
(Accessed on 8/4/14)

llg. 2 Motbet sblp (2013) lrom Ctovlty. ulrecLed by Alfonso Cuaron [lllm SLlll] uk:
LsperanLo lllmo[
(Accessed on 8/4/14)