Another Writer’s Thoughts on Interstellar

I love how the Internet comes alive when a new blockbuster comes out. We live in a society where everyone is a critic and has a voice to express their opinion of a new movie, novel, TV show, etc. Instead of deterring me from throwing in my two cents, I’ll just keep my commentary brief 🙂

To summarize, Interstellar blew me away. Seriously. It has been a very long time since a movie had me sitting on the edge of my seat pretty much from start to finish. I can’t entirely explain how Christopher Nolan did it, but I spent the entire movie thinking to myself “Shit, they’re gonna die” or “Oh, God, they’re screwed” and feeling my heart leap into my throat. The characters are part of how this is accomplished. Matthew McConaughey is phenomenal at making us care about pilot-turned-farmer Cooper, who dreams of something greater for his children and wants nothing more than to keep them safe. His commitment to a last-ditch mission to save humanity is entirely for his children, which makes the moments when he might not make it back to them absolutely heart-wrenching. Every character in Interstellar is very real, and grappling with the very real possibility of humanity’s extinction in their own ways.

The other reason why I think Interstellar is so engaging is because it poses a variety of really intriguing questions. Aside from the obvious commentary on environmentalism, the movie touches on basic morality, the needs of the many vs. the few, where love comes from, basic rights of robots, and so on. There’s a lot packed in, but the debates and discussions arise naturally from the situations the characters are placed in. But the most important message to take away, in my opinion, is the very real danger posed by the way we treat our planet. Behind the epic voyage and the dazzling science, Interstellar is very much about what humanity’s future might hold. John Lithgow’s character puts it best when he tells Cooper about growing up in the early 21st century, when every day felt like Christmas from the gadgets and fancy technology that kept being released. The message that comes across is that this technology can’t just be for personal pleasure – we need to be using it to make sure we still have a home 100 years from now.

The dazzling science in Interstellar is one of the major criticisms that I’ve seen here on the Web – and I understand why. The depth to which Doctor Brandt (Anne Hathaway), Murph (Jessica Chastain) and some of the other characters discuss the movie’s science makes it seem like a hard science fiction story; however, the movie treads into areas that might not actually be possible according to the laws of physics, which is more the realm of soft science fiction. So it’s a quandary. However, it’s an easy one to get around: just don’t think about it. Between the great character work, the gripping suspense, and the intriguing questions, it’s easy to get lost in the story – and it’s a wonderful story at that.

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