Interstellar is a throwback and obvious homage to Kubrick’s ’2001: A Space Oddessy’. While some popular criticisms of the film entertain the notion that the suspension of disbelief required to fully engage in the film is too great, I found the opposite to be true. The film explores several moral dilemmas while engaging in scientific theory with a highly respectable degree of credibility. While some scenes may be a bit of a stretch on our imagination, the character development, which starts early in the film and runs deep is continuous throughout and drives the story. It serves to feed our curiosity and imagination the nutrition needed to believe in alternate galaxies and the ways of life that are being explored. As an audience we are coaxed as is Cooper into believing there is an answer to the ecological dilemma facing the entire planet.
The screen performances early on in the film left me awkwardly groping for something in the cinema experience. Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a struggling single father, desperate in the face of an ecological collapse on a global scale. Scenes of Cooper and Murph, played by Mackenzie Foy, taut with tension and stress had me at times wondering what Nolan was really getting at. This came full circle and was revealed upon the actual propulsion of the story into space and space exploration. This came as a welcome relief to the claustrophobic emotional tension in Cooper’s family struggling to survive on a drought plagued farm in the American midwest.
You find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat dying for the next moment of Nolan brand dramatic intensity, buffered by the love interest and interplay between Brand, played by Anne Hathaway, and Cooper. Amidst the interstellar grandeur, Nolan keeps us rooted. The mechanisms through which these insights reveal themselves approach a degree of disbelief. Time dilation, wormholes, and other planets are all displayed to great effect on the big screen. Nolan has been careful to support these sci-fi scenes by popular science, solid research and theory. Professor Kip Thorne, the science advisor and executive producer of Interstellar is a world renowned theoretical physicist and great friend of Stephen Hawking. Not only was the black hole in the film generated using a super-computer for a very realistic interpretation of celestial bodies, most of the rest of the science theory in the film is supported by the scientific community. It was a real pleasure to find I was one step ahead of my Astronomy class just for having seen the film. Nolan doesn’t just stop at the scientific level, characters are developed to a degree reminiscent of our encounter with HAL and the monolith in Kubrick’s ‘A Space Oddessy’, but unlike Kubrick, Nolan brings resolution to this film. He’ll likely not be rewarded for giving us so much. Interstellar has won multiple international awards including the 2015 Oscar and BAFTA for Best Achievement in Visual Effects and won AFI Movie of the Year.