The new film, INTERSTELLAR by Director Christopher Nolan is making me think about… gulp! …topics such as gravity, space and time. I left the theater after almost 3 hours - bored, exhausted, annoyed by the striving overreaching, but intellectually stimulated - a strange duality. Ambitious, often visually stunning cinema that attempts to be 10 movies in one, dealing with “large” topics such as GRAVITY, TIME, BLACK HOLES and SINGULARITY. Those words uttered over and over again - a vocabulary that became sounds without meaning - like a concert of senselessness. I assume that most of the audience, like myself, do not know, nor understand the theories advanced by Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and the physicist Kip Thorne who served as an advisor and executive producer on INTERSTELLAR. But those who are curious in this age of instant superficial knowledge, can check things out the easy way on Wikipedia - ie: looking up the definition of Gravitational Singularity:
I basically felt an aversion to this slick epic space movie - though on reflection I can see how it tried to shoehorn a bunch of ideas into a box of Hollywood entertainment stratagems. Even the handsome Matthew McConaughey got on my nerves as Coop - the never aging, slowly dripping southern molasses drawl of a pilot/engineer who has been chosen to save mankind by exploring other galaxies in order to find viable life for the human race to survive. A big responsibility! Our planet Earth has destroyed its valuable resources - we have ruined our nest. Time is running out.
The plot was full of contrivances which felt stilted and often predictable. Events spring up like deus ex machina devices primarily to bring gratuitous action and "excitement" to the movie propelling the action in uneven ricocheting directions - not essential to the essence of the plot which is a simple story of a man's love for his children - particularly his strong-willed daughter Murph - a feisty performance by Mackenzie Foy as the ten year old child who is devastated by Coop’s leaving, (Jessica Chastain plays the adult Murph who eventually matures into a brilliant scientist) and his struggle to "come home" to them after his expedition into other galaxies and the “fifth dimension”. Tension over the aging process and keeping “time at bay” in outer space becomes an important element in the film metaphorically and as pure science. Time on planet Earth vs. Time in space where one hour can equal 7 years.
The first 1/2 hour showing the dust bowl dryness of the barren earth and how it no longer can sustain civilization was promising, but once Daddy Matthew flew off into space - we got hooked into lots of flashing machines, and oft-seen space maneuvers. References to “supernatural” or quasi-relgious phenomenon - objects moving ghost like and falling off shelves felt like a “cop-out”; perhaps the director Nolan is hedging all his bets and with INTERSTELLAR is trying to have it all - to plunge into deep theoretical ideas and to keep one foot in heaven.