Have you ever watched a movie and then thought to yourself:
“Dude, I don’t know what to make of that movie.”
That’s how I felt after watching Interstellar. I literally walked out of the movie finding it hard to give an opinion.
Did I hate it?
No, not really.
Did I like it?
Again, not really… No.
So what the hell did I make of it?
I’m… not sure.
A great lot of help this Interstellar review is right? You might as well turn around now if you’re looking for a definitive answer but if you want my personal thoughts and opinions, you’re going to have to stick by for a while longer and have faith in what I am about to write.
I cannot guarantee it will be to your liking or that you will be completely satisfied but I will at least do justice to my thoughts as I look to gather them as I recall my trip to the movies last night.
I think the best way to look at it would be to take my consideration of the movie before watching, during the movie and what followed to get a complete understanding.
I am not going to lie to you. I was anticipating this movie like a thrill-seeker ready to take a plunge into oblivion at the top of the new most exciting rollercoaster. Despite the fact I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, this movie for me would most likely be the movie of the year.
The reason behind this thought process was simple:
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN & MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY
These two men getting together I thought, would be the makings of a masterpiece. Nolan as you may or may not be aware of is the man behind great films such as ‘The Prestige’, ‘Inception’ and ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’. Each of these movies takes a place in my most favourite movies and there was no reason not to expect greatness again from this great man.
Matthew McConaughey is one of my most recent likings. His little cameo in ‘The Wolf of Wall St.’ was great but he really caught my attention in the ‘True Detective’ series. His performance was master-class wonderful. An absolute pleasure to watch and I knew from that point, him winning an Oscar was no surprise. Mind you, I still haven’t had the chance to watch the movie that won him his Academy Award.
So going into this movie, I was really excited and was looking forward to having my mind blown. My brother had heard a rumour there was something in the movie that would do such a thing; a spoiler everybody was keeping hush upon, so naturally I was intrigued.
I had a gander at the trailer but didn’t really want to pay too much attention to it, despite the fact it hardly gave anything away. I was saving it all for the movie. The trailer is there to draw you in but I was drawn in before I had seen the trailer.
I didn’t even bother grabbing a drink and pop-corn, should they distract me from the movie or force me a piss-break in between. I wasn’t going to miss a single moment. I was going to own this movie and enjoy it from start to end. My mind was on edge and fully awakened.
A trailer for those that haven’t seen it.
(WARNING: THE REST OF THIS POST IS FILLED WITH SPOILERS.)
Despite not getting the snacks and beverages, I wanted the movie experience so I forced my friends in before it started so we could view the ‘forthcoming’ trailers that would set us in the mood.
I was a little disappointed with the seats we got assigned; half-way down and way out to the left as opposed to my preferred central, just a row down from the top.
The movie started at a bookcase with a watch and the replica of a space-shuttle placed in front of the books on the shelf as the title presented itself, ‘INTERSTELLAR’ before fading out.
Interstellar travel, for those who were unaware like myself, is the manned or unmanned space travelling between stars. Currently this is widely perceived as near-impossible to achieve and centuries away from being anywhere near possible.
Set in a near distant future, the plot of the movie revolves around a dying planet. The world is no longer sustainable despite the effort of over-qualified farmer Cooper (Matthew McConaughey).
This guy seems really intelligent and has set-up a farming system that really impressed me. It was based on engineered tractors that are fixed to crop the corn at certain times without having to be manned.
He lives with his father (John Lithgow) whom I recognized as the ‘Trinity Killer’ from the 4th Season of ‘Dexter’. He has a son who I paid little attention to until he was older and a daughter who was both witty and charming through-out the early stages of the movie. The daughter is named Murph (Mackenzie Foy) presumably after ‘Murphy’s Law’ which played a significant role in the movie.
Murphy’s Law typically states:
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
This is often perceived as negatively as is used as a warning to not take risks. This movie was all about chance and making logical decisions and taking risks. They changed it to “Anything that can happen, will happen.”
Murph is bright like her father but seems to believe in a ghost in her room who is trying to communicate with her. At first her father doesn’t believe her but tells her to write a report about her findings like a true scientist. Later he discovers strange happenings for himself and discovers somebody as left coordinates through binary.
Despite not knowing how or why this occurrence had fallen before him, Cooper decides to find this location. It ends leading him and Murph to a secret NASA hideout that claims he was chosen to lead an expedition by a higher force. The hideout is secret after the government shut it down due to people complaining about wasting funding that could be used for sustenance to save the dying planet. Later they realised they may have to look for life beyond planet earth should they wish to keep the human race from becoming extinct.
NASA is led by Dr. Bran (Michael Caine) and his daughter Amelia (Anne Hathway). They convince Cooper to leave his family behind and lead them to search for distant worlds in order to find a planet that can sustain life.
Although this was impossible long ago, a wormhole had appeared near Saturn that would allow interstellar travel. A mission led by a legend known as Dr. Mann was sent several years ago to report back their findings based on 12 different planets.
Plan A is to find a planet for the rest of humanity whilst Dr. Bran figures out how to solve a gravity theory so they transport everybody across from Earth. I have no idea how this works but I nodded my head and agreed to go along with it.
Plan B was to give up on earth if there was no way to get back and start new life on an inhabitable planet using a system that would reproduce humanity using fertilised eggs and an incubation system. This was again interesting but made me question if such a thing was possible.
The mission team comprised of Cooper, Amelia, a couple of other scientists and a charmingly funny robot TARS (Bill Irwin). They met up with another robot on board a space station they combined their shuttle with. Everything was planned out and the whole scene with going through the wormhole was mesmerizing. They explained how wormholes worked and much to my surprise, it was spherical and not the random hole in the universe as it is often depicted as.
Of course things are never simple with space travel and they end up losing two out of the four humans on board due to unfortunate events such as waves the size of a mountains and random explosions. Obviously both these humans were fodder and were not the main cast of the movie otherwise it would make things very awkward.
The mission went from hopefulness to despair to more despair and eventually to hopelessness before suddenly doing a U-turn and fixing everything through some bizarre means that I shall reveal to you with but have no intention of explaining.
The first thing that went wrong was checking the first of the three hopeful planets which was a huge risk as each hour on the planet was worth seven years. Shit happens and they get stuck there a while longer than hoped and eventually find nothing for their troubles and lose a member of the team. Thankfully, it wasn’t the robot with the sense of humour.
After losing 23 years, they return to the ship and then have the tough decision of deciding which of the remaining two planets to visit first considering the fuel supply has run short and a trip back maybe impossible. The first of the planets is the one where the legendary Dr. Mann was sent to and Cooper believes we should go with him considering he is a more reliable source. Mann has sent data that shows promise.
The second source is of Edmund who is a lover of Amelia and she wishes to follow her heart rather than go with pure reason and logic (women… *sigh*). Despite this, her logic seems appropriate as there is a gaping back hole nearby and it would make more sense to reach out further away from the black hole considering Murphy’s Law.
Cooper being for more risk and wanting to return home to his family, despite the 23 years that have lapsed, decides to go against this. The result, almost dying at the hands of a surprise villain in the form of Mann (Matt Damon) who showed what solitude and hopes of survival can do to a man. He not only reveals that he sent false reports in order to be rescued but also causes the death of another member of the team and almost jeopardizes the mission.
Cooper then sacrifices himself to allow Amelia to go on to complete the mission which she does and sets up a new colony of humans.
Cooper ends up falling into the black-hole along with TARS. The two somehow end up in a fifth dimension behind the bookshelf we saw at the beginning in Murph’s room. He realises he was the ghost from her childhood and has access to this room throughout time. He initially tries to stop himself for leaving but eventually realises he could save earth having learnt the secrets of the black-hole which he passes on to his daughter via a watch he had given her.
An older Murph (Jessica Chastain), who grew up despising her father who she thought had abandoned humanity, manages to receive the message and ends up finishing Dr. Brand’s research and saves humanity. Dr. Brand mind you did reveal that the whole Plan A was a sham and he never thought his research could ever work.
It was all well and good up to this point until they somehow rescue Cooper several years later and reunite her with his dying daughter who became a worldwide hero. In the end Cooper goes back out looking for Amelia. Like seriously dude?
There were a number of themes that were interesting in this movie along with Murphy’s Law. These include Love, Humanity, Survival, Black-Holes and Time.
The one’s I want to concentrate on are Love, Humanity and Survival because I think that’s what Nolan was really concentrating on. He wasn’t really that focused on the science because it went beyond most logic.
Mann and Brand are of the theory that humans should focus more on survival and ensuring the species lives on rather than try and save everybody in the name of humanity. It doesn’t make sense for us to do that as a species as the most important thing is that we live on and reproduce to pass our genes on to the next generation. That’s how life works.
But Amelia mentioned that Love is very powerful and that despite it not seeming to have any importance after humans die, people still cling on to it and that we should trust love a bit more. Scientifically it makes no sense to hold onto someone who has died, yet despite this we do. Can science explain that? Huh?
It was the love between a father and daughter than saved humanity in the end. I think the message behind the movie is one about time and love. Make sure to appreciate the time you have as once its gone, you can’t have it back. Murph missed her father her whole life, resenting him, believing he’d left her to die. Yet she carried this hope that he will return one day and it was that hope that allowed her to realise her father was the ghost.
All in all, this movie had a lot of bullshit elements that fail to make sense to me. The most enthralling part of the movie involved Cooper piloting the shit out of an aircraft, showing some extremely mad skills to latch onto a spinning space station. Yeah, when you think about it, it’s not really that thrilling. The whole time it felt to me like trying to put a thread a needle in the freezing cold.
Despite all of this, the movie was quite entertaining. Not the movie of the year in my opinion but it did have me constantly wanting to know what’s going to happen next. I think the ending of the movie was by far the weakest and what ultimately let it down. I was waiting for something remarkable to happen at the end but I received nothing.
The best thing about the movie was the performances by the cast. I think they all did exceptionally well in selling it. The transition of young Murph into the older one was impeccable. It had me honestly believing it’s the same girl. Matt Damon’s cameo was great as was Casey Affleck as an older version of Cooper’s son.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Read my rating below and make sure to leave yours as well.
Great review – after watching the movie, I felt I hadn’t got a thing about the much-appraised movie (in addition, Cooper’s pronunciation in the original English version was extremely hard to understand for me as a non-native speaker).
But while reading your review, I realized if you See it the same way as I did, and raise similar questions and points oft criticism, I must habe understood quite a bit “right”, after all.
Thanks for that assurance!
Thanks for the reply and kind words. A lot of people have the praised the movie and I agree, the movie was well done but I still stick by my opinion that the plot was a little weak.
I understand where you are coming from with the science of the movie, but I will point out that Neil deGrasse Tyson gave the science of the movie a 9/10 for realism. I personally really love this movie, I did think the plot was strong, and the the characters had amazing chemistry. I do the point of your criticisms though. This was a very solid review!
Thanks man. Appreciate the feedback. I didn’t want to write a generic review because this movie deserved more than that. Although I had my complaints with the movie I still think it was very well made and deserves a it’s recognition.