“The key to enjoying a scifi movie is ignore the science and stick with the fiction. The key to said scifi being any good is if the focus also emphasizes the fiction, building strong enough characters and relationships that glossing over the science is acceptable. In making what is his most personal film to date, Christopher Nolan seems to have embraced this strategy. Knowing his intentions and wanting to have an open minded and positive experience with the film, I too tried to focus on the characters and their emotional journey rather than the details and implications of the science and theory. It resulted in an absolutely beautiful and absorbing movie watching experience.
Christopher Nolan, the brilliant mind behind such films as The Dark Knight, Inception, and Memento takes us on a journey into space with Interstellar. It’s an unspecified time in the future. Humanity’s lust for excess has mostly wiped us out, and those who are left struggle to find the resources to survive. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a former engineer and pilot turned farmer, trying to raise his children in this world that is far more challenging than the one he grew up in. He stumbles on a secret NASA base run by a former professor of his that is looking to space for our salvation. Hoping to rescue his children (particularly his daughter, Murph) from the bleak fate that awaits our planet, Cooper agrees to pilot a mission that will take him thru a wormwhole to the otherside of the galaxy, in hopes of finding a hospitable planet.
While a lot of people are making the mistake of focusing on the hazy science and frustrating plotholes, at it’s core, this film is about a father/daughter relationship. I’ll admit, I didn’t quite trust the science completely, and I particularly have a lot of trouble wrapping my brain around the concept of time as it’s used here. What I do understand is the bond between a father and daughter. I’ll admit to tearing up a few times during the film, especially as Murph is absolutely begging Cooper not to leave her. She doesn’t understand that he’s leaving for her, and she simply does not want to be separated from her Daddy. Hell, I’m tearing up just writing about it. Throughout the whole film, Cooper doesn’t care about saving the world. He cares about coming back for Murph and taking her to a safe place. Their connection is what keeps him going, and their disconnection over the distance is truly heartbreaking. Maybe I didn’t quite get what was going on with a lot of the science, particularly when it started stretching in the third act, but I did understand what kept those two going. And that was enough for me.
Something that Nolan is so great at is creating a story filled with suspense and anticipation. While I had some theories about where things may be going, I never really knew exactly what was going to happen. The nearly 3 hour run time did not feel so daunting because I was enthralled throughout. The incredible incredible cast sold it with complete conviction. McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, and a few other surprise appearances along the way. Another thing I love about Nolan’s films is that it’s impossible to just walk away. They stay with you. Keep you thinking and processing. Interstellar was no different. I understand why it didn’t work for some people, but I got it. And it is staying with me.
Interstellar – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”