Photo Credit NyTimes.com Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar”
Christopher Nolan returns with another big-Budget story concerning that of human life while still questioning its humanity, in a futuristic ride in which food is a rare commodity and the Apollo missions are no longer talked about in the school classroom. Instead students are given “Corrected” versions of books with events that are changed for the planet’s remaining few “well being”. InsterStellar is a film that should not be missed or seen on smaller screens in smaller venues; Nolan writes big stories for a bigger budget and a bigger screen; something not taken lightly in the industry as filmmakers have recently spoken out against it. To be honest the visuals seen in the film are similar to shots one might see in Tarkovsky’s Solaris and its American remake directed by Steve Soderbergh. It’s a visual assault on the eyes and mind that is, if you don’t find its science to be “debatable”.
Mathew McConaughey is a former pilot and widower that must stand up and fight for the survival of mankind as a second dust bowl is about to emerge. McConaughey’s Cooper believes that more is out “there” as he suggests Mankind used to “look up in the stars and wonder where our place was among them”, but as he and his family are farmers rejoices with “now we look down and wonder where our place is in the dirt”. Echoing the works of john Steinbeck of course, but fully realizing one’s situation. Blight is responsible for the death of crops and also the reason behind the military’s disbandment. Corn and Okra are all that remains of what used to be a full planet harvesting anything from apples and oranges to pumpkins and squash that were aplenty in the past. As Nolan’s film takes place slightly into the future, but just recognizable so you won’t feel entirely lost in it.
The earth doesn’t appear to be giving breaks either as Cooper can’t enjoy a baseball game played by of all teams, the Yankees, as he and his kids Tom (Timothee Chalamet) and Daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy) run home mid dust storm. Upon Returning to their plains abode Murphy spots a gravitational anomaly in her bedroom. Picture golden pillars of dirt. Cooper sends his daughter to sleep with her older brother, but sits and looks at it almost in complete bewilderment. The following morning his father-in-law (John Lithgow) asks him to sweep up the mess after he is done “praying to it”. Cooper sees coordinates, which lead him to the super secret base in which NASA still exists. Something that given today’s questions about space exploration and its need to continue, gives the film more plausibility. At the base Professor Brand (Michael Caine) says the incident “chose” him to be apart of his mission seeking life on new planets that exist on the other side of a wormhole. Regardless of the fact that had Cooper not stumbled upon the operation would’ve gone through without him.
Brand asks Cooper to join his Daughter Emilia (Anne Hathaway), Romily (David Gyasi), and Doyle (Wes Bentley) to pilot the “Endurance” on the eve of mankind’s defining moment. However, no futuristic space flight is complete without an artificial presence and this time its TARS (Voiced by Bill Irwin) it was Hal 9000 in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 and Gerty more recently in Duncan Jone’s Moon. Tars is a rather box-like computer that can roll and even pick people up in a time of need, a robot so loyal it knows when to be helpful and never argues. Just observes and reports however bad the situation at hand may be.
Insterstellar is easily director Chris Nolan’s best film yet, but despite criticism of potholes and a scientifically flawed storyline. It’s everything those who enjoy films about space could hope for it to be about. Yet it does ground itself for the nature of the human mind, but rightly so. If mankind were to find a way to make gravity a non-factor in a mass exodus do you really think people would be civil and line up like sheep? Yeah right.
Mathew McConaughey leads a stellar cast in a truly stellar film and is matched by Hathaway as she is not only a voice of reason her Emilia Brand looks for the future of mankind even in the worst of situations. Whereas McConaughey strives to find a solution that fits the current needs of man, in a world that is quickly slipping away at his fingertips. Michael Caine’s Professor Brand is not what you’d expect despite the fatherly figure he has been seen as in the past as Batman’s do good servant Alfred. Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck play older versions of Tom and Murphy respectively, as the two would like them in their bitter thirty’s waiting for Dad to come home.
Interstellar is easily one of the best sci-fi films out there and unlike Ridley Scott’s Prometheus won’t be forgotten six months down the road from now. If anything will be remembered as something that our future could like. The Universe is vast and full of unknown. InsterStellar is meant to inspire us about the great beyond so why not explore it?