I’m not sure what to make of Interstellar. I am a big Christopher Nolan fan, and the film received rave reviews from critics. I was expecting something along the lines of Inception.
But the only things the two films had in common we’re complex plots, anti-gravity scenes and vertical walls that could support buildings.
Yes, the film is impressive, particularly visually, and thought provoking but I can’t help but feel there was something missing. Either that or the three hour epic could have ended an hour sooner and let us answer some questions ourselves.
The film is set in the not too distant feature and the earth is becoming a barren dust bowl. Corn is one of the few crops we are still able to grow.
Former astronaut and engineer Cooper, Matthew McConaughey, works on one such corn farm with his two children, Murphy and Tom, and his father in law.
We are told this is a caretaker generation after science were rejected and became something to fear. But Cooper doesn’t see it that way, as one such use of science is the MRI that could have saved his wife from a fatal brain tumour. Cooper maintains that we are not caretakers, but explorers and pioneers.
Inquisitive and intelligent Murphy notices some strange paranormal activity in her bedroom as books and model space ships fall off her bookshelf. She thinks it’s a ghost leaving her a message; a more sceptical Cooper believes it to be gravity. Either way, the room leaves them a message, leading them to NASA, who have gone into hiding. Cooper happens to know the lead scientist on the board, Professor Brand (Michael Caine) along with his daughter Anne Hathaway. They need his astronaut expertise on a space mission. They want to recruit him to find a new planet to inhabit.
I thought the film was a little slow until this point, although I was intrigued by the ghost in Murph’s room. Once the raw and barren earth is left behind and we go into space, the film is visually beautiful; but not in the shiny and polished way last year’s Gravity was. Something about the cinematography feels more raw and realistic, almost like you’re watching a documentary.
And of course, as with any space exploration film since 2001 a Space Oddessy, there is the rousing orchestral music, backed by a booming organ. Nolan did a god job of making elements of the film pay homage to those space exploration films that have gone before it.
While McConaughey and Hathaway give solid performances, I doubt be will be recognised in the best actor categories. They seem more like Nolan’s puppets rather than actually bringing anything more to the film. Neither The father-daughter relationship between Caine and Hathaway nor between McConaughey and Mackenzie Foy, and then Jessica Chastain, convinced me.
Yes, the film is long, but there are a lot of ideas to pack in. While I feel I have a comfortable grasp on the theories the film put forward, perhaps I am not scientifically minded enough to ‘get it’. My doctor uncle and med student brother have been discussing how some of the theories put forward could work in reality, like Einstein’s theory of Relativity. That is beyond me.
One theme I could grasp was love: you may have seen Anne Hathaway saying in the trailer: “Love is the one thing that transcends space and time”. Is the pull of love stronger than the pull of gravity? The film certainly has a lot to say about that. I’m going to agree that if in doubt, always follow your heart.