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Review

‘Interstellar’ features space travel in a rich, mind-bending sci-fi adventure

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November 21, 2014

Be ready to take an amazing and mind-bending ride when you go to see “Interstellar,” as accurate science and excellent acting guide this trip through space to save the human race.

The Earth is dying. Dust storms wreak the land as humanity has resorted to farming as its last bastion of survival and no solution is in sight. But hope exists, and Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is one such farmer/former NASA pilot who believes that humanity can exist far away.

He shares this dream with his optimistic yet headstrong daughter Murphy who claims there are ghosts in the house. Cooper remains skeptical, but after finding that some force
is trying to communicate with his family through a room in their house, he tracks a message from beings that could have the answer to Earth’s problems.

Interactions between characters in “Interstellar” are a major highlight, with most of the films weight carried by the excellent performances from the actors. The surprise and hope felt through McConaughey as his character finds that NASA is attempting to find a way off of Earth for humanity helps instill in the audience the notion that humanity is bound for so much with the science and technology it has obtained over time, even when our hero volunteers to take on this search.

As technology goes for “Interstellar,” it is beautifully shot down to a T. Our hero Cooper’s first steps into space in order to find a way off the planet are some of the most awe-inspiring shots of space I have seen in any film in so long.

The grandeur, beauty, and existential horror that entails looking into the abyss is perfectly captured through the cinematography (thanks to Hoyte van Hoytema) and music by Hans Zimmer, who strikes it out again in “Interstellar” with a hauntingly epic score that reverberates into your heart with each sway of the orchestra.

Science is also a large note for “Interstellar.” For many movies, especially in the science fiction genre, the science of a film’s universe can only go so far into the realms of possibility before it has to drop its goods and resort to fiction.

Most sci-fi films are okay with getting by with just enough real science and possibility before having to just do what it wants for the sake of plot and fantasy. “Interstellar” though, takes it extremely far with its science, even taking on theoretical physicist Kip Thorne as the science consultant for the movie.

Much of the science that went into the story of the film is incredibly accurate, from what a worm hole would actually look like to how time works when passing through to another side of the universe. For the feat alone of having incredible scientific credibility, the film should be remembered for that.

And much of that science figures into the plot, for the whole movie is about science, survival and the unknown. As our intrepid hero Cooper ventures into space to find humanity’s salvation, it becomes increasingly clear that his mission may lead to his and his crew’s destruction.

Even his partner Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway) begins to have less faith in the mission over time as people are lost, secrets are revealed, and the people back home change for better and for worse.

The odyssey of our heroes takes them further and further into space and onwards into the unknown and almost the impossible. In some way though the film becomes improbable in a pretty sentimental and heart-heavy way throughout, which brought some of it down a bit for me; let’s just say love is not as quantifiable as director/writer Christopher Nolan may let on.

But maybe that’s a bit understandable, for the major message of “Interstellar” is about how science and our love for our fellow man will be what guides and saves us in this uncertain and unpredictable universe; how when these two elements combine they create a force that allows us to go on where we were never meant to tread. Into the black, and into eternity.

Ryan Funes is a lover of all things movie, TV, video games and stories and wants to become a television writer someday. In his spare time he enjoys hanging with friends, tapping into his imagination, and watching cartoons of all kinds.