Friday, November 14, 2014
Interstellar--2014: A Space Odyssey
Interstellar takes place in the near future as Earth is beginning to show signs of being done with the human race: vicious dust storms run rampant and food crops are slowly starting to die off. Farmer Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former pilot and engineer, is trying to sustain his family, most notably his daughter, Murph, who is whip-smart and curious about science like her dear old dad. Weird anomalies begin to happen around the Cooper household, and a sequence of events better left unexpected cause Cooper to be Earth's last great hope to find a distant planet that can sustain a surviving population of humans.
Interstellar is full of scientific and space travel jargon about worm-holes, the space/time continuum, black holes and 5th dimensions. It even has that standard sci-fi discussion involving folding a piece of paper to explain space travel through worm-holes. And I couldn't tell you if any of the plot points are based in fact or fiction (many of them, according to Neil DeGrasse Tyson, are mostly based in truth). But the thing with Interstellar and most sci-fi space-based epics, is that being preposterous can sometimes be a virtue: letting go with reality and suspending your disbelief just gets you invested in the ride even more. If you do that with Interstellar, there's no way you're not entertained.
Yeah, it's easy to snicker at some of the plot jumps in Interstellar. Especially during the first third of the film, a couple of coincidences and unexplained happenings bugged me a little bit. But knowing Nolan, I should have assumed that things will connect in the end--and they did in a completely unexpected way. And yeah, some of the dialogue feels hokey and forced, trying to incite an emotional response (particularly with a certain poem) in the viewer. But it didn't matter: Interstellar is an entertaining film filled with massive ideas about the future of the human race, parenthood, love, and human nature. It has space action that rivals Gravity and intimate moments that can bring tears to your eyes. Above all, it's a great success in a year that's almost completely devoid of anything to get excited about. (A-)