04 January 2015


Went to see Christopher Nolan's Interstellar last week. It is indeed long, a bit too long, but its concept is interesting and well-developed and its cinematography and special effects are superb. Rather than an utterly dystopian post-apocalyptic world such as I described in Snowpiercer, Interstellar's reveals a much more likely scenario as a world-wide blight only slowly leads to the death of humanity.

Former astronaut-in-training Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, has taken up farming but longs for an opportunity to return to space. He gets his wish when, following an exceptional dust storm, he interprets an inexplicable arrangement of dust on the floor of his daughter's bedroom as binary code that leads him to a hidden NASA research station. There Cooper learns of a once-in-an-eon chance to pilot a spaceship through a wormhole near Saturn to discover another world to which the remaining inhabitants of earth can take refuge and start over.

Interstellar pulls off this improbable-sounding plot with incredible attention to detail and, one assumes, the best advice of contemporary theoretical physicists and astronomers. Cooper and his cohorts eventually conclude that the signs that have led him to NASA, the wormhole, and beyond came from our future selves. In other words, contemporary humanity is saved by future humanity. Why human beings even after millions of years of evolution would be kind enough to go to all this trouble eludes me. Alone, millions of years won't do sinful human nature any good.

I have come to appreciate Matthew McConaughey (Bernie here and Lincoln Lawyer here) but I wasn't overly impressed with his work this time. He tried too hard to have the "right stuff" exemplified by Chuck Yeager and the original Mercury 7.

All in all, I was most happy to have seen Interstellar. Although not a great film, it was thought-provoking and I'd certainly recommend it to those who enjoy mind-stretching science fiction.

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