Movie Review: Interstellar(2014)



(Updated 01/04/2016)At the beginning, I thought it would be another visual-oriented space futuristic film, like last year’s Gravity(2013), heavy on technical visual effects, and short on dialogues. I was wrong. There were more dialogues and science lessons than anything else: physics, quantum mechanics, singularity, black hole, worm hole… I was glad I watched the whole TV series of Through the Wormhole (2010), on DVD, hosted by Morgan Freeman, so I was not totally lost with its haute science. The film got exciting when Cooper(Matthew McConaughey) piloted the spacecraft heading to ten potential new planets where human might terraform. The premise could be summarised in three words: love, time, and space.

Cooper was an astronaut and pilot turned farmer after NASA completely scraped all their programs. The habitable world is now a dust bowl, each species of crops has been attacked by blight, and the last surviving crop is corn, which is also about to extinct.

Cooper lives with his father-in-law, Don(John Lithgow), and son, Tom(Timothée Chalamet), and daughter Murph(Mackenzie Foy), named after Murphy’s law. Murph is the smart one, and she is haunted by ghosts, cause things move on their own in her bedroom. Tom is a no nonsense teenager, who is ready to step into his father footsteps taking care of the farm. One day a dust storm changes their lives forever.

The second act starts with the meeting of a rectangular block shaped A.I. that offers humours. Then there are professor Brand(Michael Caine), and his daughter Dr. Brand(Anne Hathaway). They have deciphered a plan A and plan B to save the human race. Copper, Dr. Brand, Doyle(Wes Bentley), and Romilly(David Gyasi) are put in a spacecraft to attest to the validity of plan B. This part got a bit more exciting with its visual effects of multiple galactic systems that were effective and attractive; the film spent fair amount of time explaining the concept of a wormhole, which shamed the de facto time-jump in Star Trek.

The third part deals with the discovery of one survivor, out of ten, that was sent before Cooper’s mission as a pioneer explorer of a designated planet. If this were edited out, I doubted it would have been missed. Perhaps, director/writer Christopher Nolan could not leave Matt Damon‘s Dr.Mann on the cutting floor. Cooper also landed on a crash site of another designated planet where it was filled completely with water. The tsunami wave sequence was quite impressive.

The last act is the “glue”; it tries hard to put everything into perspective that helps to solved some the earlier mysteries. In here Murph has grown up and is now played by Jessica Chastain, and brother Tom, Casey Affleck. They manifest the polar psychological effects of parental abandonment: rage and hope; despair and acceptance.

For me, unfortunately this part was overloaded with Hollywood’s syrup, and it was too sticky sweet, i.e., melodramatic. The evangelical ending was something not to my taste either. Although the film was full of plausible scientific facts, it defeated itself by offering us the most intangible concept that love triumphed over all impossibility. But all was not lost; the cast did a decent job keeping us awake for the two and half hours run-time, and the score and the visuals pushed the film along.

It’s worthwhile to watch this film as least couple of times, cause there were a lot of things I missed the first time around. With better understanding now, the ending was more than interesting. But there are still lots of unanswered questions, of course.

WATCH…other than a bit long, for me, it was OK. second time watching this will give you a totally new perspective(put the subtitle on, so you know exactly what they say).


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