Friday, November 14, 2014
INTERSCHTELLAR: just where are we headed?
A recently discovered wormhole has provided a gateway to several new planets that appear to be hospitable. In the event that the team is unable to return to Earth, they are equipped with a vast array of fertilized embryos to repopulate the human race upon finding an appropriate new home world. Furious with her father for abandoning her, Murphy and Cooper part on sour terms. If he sees her again, she will be an adult by the time the team could return.
Memory — and specifically time — are nearly turned inside out as the intrepid team push themselves to their absolute mental limits. That is where the film’s true pleasures lie.
Relative time is the main antagonist of the narrative. The initial planet, Miller, is rendered uninhabitable due to its violent water-covered surface. Its proximity to a gigantic black hole immensely slows the passage of time. Though the exploration team of Cooper and Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway) only touch down on the planet for several hours, a subsequent 23 years have passed for the crew aboard their orbiting vessel.
Theoretical physicist Kip Thorne acted as the production’s scientific consultant and executive producer to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible. The challenging concepts of gravity and relativity are rendered as digestible as they can be for a blockbuster film.
Interstellar certainly puts you through an emotional grinder, yet miraculously never feels manipulative.
Rather, it presents concise explanations and presentations of uncomfortable ideas: a parent outliving their child (the epilogue portrays this with almost excruciating creativity) or the chemical and physical rationality of love as a driving motivation. Instead of being depicted as a mere cognitive response, it is hypothesized as the transfiguration of a reaction to dimensions that we cannot normally comprehend. If we can only love in the moment, then why do we feel such a magnetic attraction to the deceased?
Nolan and his screenwriter brother Jonathan’s stories are trademarked by their abilities to surprise the audience, but here the great revelation is in a performance.
Interstellar sees AH become a phoenix from the ashes. Her restrained frankness turns to doe-eyed optimism that withers in shattering disappointment. She is the beating heart of the film and truly the one to watch.
It’s a shame then that the film completely falls apart and cannot withstand the dissection of repeated viewings. The convoluted pace and well-researched conceits merely disguise its alkaline core: an above-average action film that yearns to be more than another round of Oscar Winners in Space.
Interstellar is Kubrickian in its sweep and wisely acknowledges the permanent impact that 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind have stamped on the medium, but despite the sumptuous design and belaboured concepts, you can’t help but feel that you’ve just walked out of a belated three-hour sequel to Contact that no one asked for.
Posted by DANIELBLOOM at 8:11 PM