Star Stuff: “Interstellar”

Photo from Global Panorama via Flickr under Creative Commons  license

Photo from Global Panorama via Flickr under Creative Commons license

Nick Brown, Staff Writer

I recently saw Interstellar in theaters, an experience that I came into with mixed expectations. Christopher Nolan had delivered on his last two projects, Inception, as well the Dark Knight series. Both were met with resounding praise and drew huge crowds at the box office. The news that Nolan was working on an epic space thriller, a 2001 of this generation, was an exciting prospect to someone like me, who enjoys both the space genre and Nolan’s previous work. Another 2001, it was not, but an entertaining, contemplative journey? Something Kubrick would be proud of.

The movie opens on our hero, Matthew McConaughey. His character, Cooper, is a strong, crass space cowboy with a young daughter and a son. The daughter, Murphy or “Murph,” is an extremely intelligent, likable kid, and portrayed exceedingly well. The world is bleak, and as the food source quickly dwindles (Earth’s population had been turned into entirely farmers, growing corn to sustain those who hadn’t yet died from a terrible disease), events begin to occur that indicate that the world is running out of time.

Michael Caine’s character, Professor Brand, leads a team of researchers trying to find a way to solve humanity’s greatest problem: survival. Professor Brand’s daughter, played by Anne Hathaway, accompanies Cooper in his trek to outer space, in an attempt to find a suitable world for humans. Cooper, an all-star ex-NASA pilot, is extremely conflicted on his leave from his children, as Murph takes it extremely hard, feeling totally abandoned. And as the story begins to descend into a time-space conundrum, the pain and loss is more apparent on the faces of every person involved.

The truth is that this movie is confusing on a first watch, and that is all I’ve had at this point. Like a piece of text with concealed symbols, Interstellar would undoubtedly be better on a second watch. Yet, on a surface level, the acting is fantastic, the storyline is comprehensive and relatively relatable to our current situation environmentally, and the graphics and effects are mind-blowing. I have no idea if the science even remotely holds up, but that was not what I was thinking when I watched it! Space is not necessarily unique to America, but the toughness and never-ending courage that the team exhibits throughout the movie brings a feeling of pride and patriotism. Perhaps it is not even a pride in one’s country, but rather, pride in the power of human beings. Interstellar does its job, and it does it well; it is a true testament to the importance of love and belief in our everyday lives.