Interstellar is a movie that bends the mind in a multitude of ways. From the scientific viewpoint this film takes you on a thought provoking journey exploring space travel, time dilation, and even dimensional and galaxy travel through worm holes and black holes. From an emotional viewpoint this film truly has all the elements of an emotional masterpiece having a family separated all in order to save the future of humanity. This 2014 film directed by Christopher Nolan received four academy awards nominations for Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing. The visual effects were so well produced that they won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
The magnitude of the plot is just as strong as the cast and crew hired for this film. Christopher Nolan absolutely does it again with another mind-twisting film just as crazy and enticing as Inception or Memento. His brother Jonathon co-writes with him and this duo is truly incredible together. Jonathon has produced and written on The Dark Knight and Westworld among many other highly regarded films. The main character Cooper is played by Matthew McConaughey and he lives up to his cool, calm, and collected self that he plays in most films. He’s witty, charming, intelligent, and perfectly serious to fit the perfect role for a father leaving his planet to make a future for his son and daughter. The rest of the cast is just as strong with big names all around. Anne Hathaway plays Brand Cooper’s co-pilot and Professor Brand’s (Michael Caine) daughter. Casey Affleck and Jessica Chastain play Cooper’s children fully grown up and do a stellar job at taking all the emotions of time dilation from Cooper’s perspective and linking the part of the plot that’s in space, and on earth together. John Lithgow plays Donald, Cooper’s dead wife’s father. Lastly, and not until halfway through the film, Matt Damon (Dr. Mann) plays a genius and diabolical character truly changing the course of the entire film.
The Nolans get your mind running directly from the start of the movie. The movie takes place in the near future where the soil is no longer usable and crops are becoming extinct by the week. Humanity is coming to an end as there is no more food and the conditions on earth are becoming inhabitable. NASA has vanished and only a few (Cooper) still remember the days of space exploration. As Cooper said himself, “Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here”. From this point on the film forces you to think about many different things whether it be the physical science talked about or the emotional messages portrayed.
Joseph Cooper embarks on a mission with Doyle (Wes Bentley), Brand, Romilly (David Gyasi), and TARS, an ex-military robot who helps them on their journey. The Lazarus missions (led by Dr. Mann) allowed for three planets to have been settled on and obtained data. There is a Plan A in which Cooper will give data back to earth for Dr. Brand to finish his gravitational theory and allow for inter-galaxy travel but there’s also a plan B in which they will have to find the crew from the Lazarus missions and start establishing a colony in another world. Right from the start of the journey Nolan does a great job at getting your mind to ponder. They enter a wormhole rather quickly into their journey which raises thoughts of inter-galaxy travel and how it’s possible to bend space to travel in shorter journeys. After safely getting through the worm-hole they visit Miller’s planet because they received the most recent data from it. As they get to the planet the idea of time dilation starts to take full effect. The Nolans do an incredible job at truly showing the effects of time dilation and does such a great job at incorporating into the storyline of Cooper, Murph, and Tom. Due to the planet’s close relativity to the black hole (Gargantua) every hour on this planet is seven years on planet earth. A gigantic wave due to the enormous gravitational pull ends up killing Doyle as Coop and Brand narrowly escape. Romilly was on the station while they explored and talked about his struggles of being there for years because once again time dilation plays a significant role. From here on out the idea of relativity plays a significant role. Coop looks at videos that their families sent and when he watches one he realizes his daughter (who was just a child when he left) is now a fully grown woman. This is one of the most emotional scenes and the Nolans do an amazing job at bringing out sadness in it’s viewers as this is a situation that no one expects themselves to be in as Coop is stranded in vast emptiness and time moves differently from him as it does from earth.
The rest of the film forces you to think theoretically about space and things that have never been explored but the viewer is able to connect with the emotional aspects of Coop and his family and the future of the world. After Dr. Mann (in a truly chaotic fashion) tries to steal control of their mission to get him back to safety, Dr. Mann ends up killing himself and taking part of the Endurance with him (which is what they need to be able to get to the third planet and back home) and ultimately changes the course of the movie, and humanity as a whole. This is where things truly get interesting. They are able to take control of the remaining part of the Endurance but are heading straight towards Gargantua, a giant black hole. Cooper says that they need to slingshot him and Brand around Gargantua’s pull to get them to the third planet. As they start going along the side, Cooper and TARS both free themselves into the black hole losing all excess weight to propel Brand. No one has ever entered a black hole and no one knows what will truly happen. The Nolans theorize that they enter the fourth dimension, a place where you can see time in a cubic form and see any moment in time at any time. Cooper realizes that he can communicate with his daughter Murph. This is where science meets emotion. One big theme from the film is how love transcends dimensions. Cooper knows that he has to get the data of what they just went through to solve Plan A but has to figure out how to do it. He trusts that his bond with Murph will transcend beyond dimensions and that gravity can as well so he uses science (gravity) and his bond with Murph (A watch he gave her) to code the data into binary code and ultimately let them eventually move to another planet to continue life. The movie ends with Cooper seeing Murph (who is now on her hospital bed sick and almost dying). He also heads to the planet he sent Brand where the new colony of earth will begin as his entering of a black hole leads to Murph saving the world.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
The visual effects and story line of the film make it truly amazing. Although it can be a little confusing, taking time to understand the film truly lets someone see the beauty of it. There are a plethora of emotional aspects of the film as it focuses on one man’s journey to create a future, but as he progresses time is only going exponentially fast on earth while his time is staying the same (relevance). All the interesting scientific theories present really make you think and even the impossible events of entering a black hole the Nolan’s weren’t afraid to take on. This is a great sci-fi film that will make you think about life on Earth and the future of our planet.