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Ben Kensingberg’s Review “Gravity Drops” Epitomizes the Genre Study

In response to Ben Kenigsberg’s 353‑word review of Gravity on AV Club,102584/

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Unlike some lackadaisical efforts this Gravity film season, Ben Kenigsberg’s “Toronto 2013, Day Three:  Gravity Drops” is a fully developed treat, the rare review that draws from its environment to deliver a careful analysis.

In fact, to call it a review is to do it a slight disservice; Gravity Drops steps outside of form a bit. Assuming the most of its audience, it draws from multiple sources in a careful bid to avoid the spoiler while offering a meaningful critique. It succeeds in this spectacularly.

The effort begins on a positive note, but the main thrust of the work is more about near-misses than it is about outright successes. Audiences will love the careful balance of positivity against notes of caution. A bit at the very end of the review is tense indeed, an intentionally uncomfortable portent. The future may be grim—the reader is left to wonder on her own.

Gravity Drops is cerebral entertainment in a taut 350-some words, but what makes it a true gem is the cultural awareness it brings to the table. This is an artful genre study. Instead of looking too far inward, it draws from the milieu of of the space-review class, with parallels to historical events, theme park rides, and entertainment features.

As a result, Gravity Drops says much, but without actually saying too much. It’s a deft move by an author at the top of his game. Audiences will be hard-pressed to come across a stronger review.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation