I love you, Interstellar, forever, but…

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Movie Reviews
Tags: , ,

So.. I saw Interstellar over the weekend.

WARNING.  SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. DON’T KEEP READING BECAUSE I’M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ANGER IF YOU DO!


(Seriously, nothing worse than a movie being spoiled by someone who disregards the fact that you haven’t seen it yet.)

Originally I went into Interstellar without knowing anything about it.  I have seen some Nolan films, but not generally enough for me to say that I know his style better than most people. Truthfully, I don’t know his style that well.  To be frank, I wasn’t paying much attention to Interstellar before I saw it.  I didn’t see any trailers, I didn’t hear anything about the plot, I didn’t really know what it was about aside from space exploration.  I wasn’t terribly interested in it – in fact, hearing about so much death within the movie sort of made me dreading to see it.  I felt as though it was only going to be stressful to watch – in a good way, but still stressful.  I can’t really explain what I mean by that.  I just somewhat expected a movie that focused on space exploration, and the generic stuff we see.  You know, jibber-jabber about the laws of physics that nobody gets for literally no reason other than to validate it being a “sci-fi”, various political issues regarding mostly to space exploration and humanity’s role and alien life forms, etc. Many some explosions thrown in there.

But I will tell you, I didn’t expect what I actually saw.

Interstellar is a movie that reaches for the stars while bringing us down to earth.  It’s a movie that promotes the advancement of humanity without forgetting the humanity of the characters.  It’s a movie with grandeur technology in an age where the most basic things are slowly dying away.

And for that, I love Interstellar.

By the beginning of the movie, I was confused and frankly a little unsurprised.  It was the stereotypical “daddy’s going to go off and save the world for his daughter”.  Oh, wonderful, so the girl takes the back seat once again… right?  I thought it’d be another grand space exploration flick, but in between the extreme tech, the grand dreams and the fear of the unknown, it really reminded us of being human.  It reminded us of our fears, how small we are, and how much our actions are motivated by people we care about.  At first it started a little bit slow, and it bought into my “grand space exploration flick” idea.  The slowness was a turn off.  But then, something else happens.

We’re shown the 5th dimension.

It’s made pretty apparent that Murphy almost binds the brother and the father together.  They both look after her, and it’s almost like without her they wouldn’t even interact very much.  From the beginning of the movie, it felt like they were sort of walking on eggshells.  That was my one feeling toward the movie – that honestly, it felt like eventually the son wasn’t going to be such a big player anymore.  The dynamic just didn’t fit them.  They acted distant, just two people working together because they’re family.  You felt the dynamic between Murphy and her dad, Cooper.  You felt the bond despite barely knowing who they were, or anything about them – all you could take from it is that they were close.  Closer than Cooper and his son or Murphy and her brother.

I’ll admit I found it a little odd that Cooper shows up at the NASA facility and they’re like “hey man, we remember you, pilot this thing to save humanity k?”.  It felt like a shitty excuse.  It just felt stupid for a guy to happen to stumble upon a facility and then it’s like, so, fly this thing to save humans.

NASA and Professor Brand (and whoever knew that Brand never intended to save all of humanity) even still brings us down to humanity and emotions.  Brand plays on the insecurity of the people he’s inviting on this mission – even his own daughter.  He plays on people’s trust, people’s insecurities, and people’s loves.  I’m not sure if anyone has considered maybe Professor Brand knew his daughter was in love with Edmonton.  Why else would you send your daughter into the unknown, willingly, even encouraging her to do it, with an equation you never planned to solve?  If Brand so quickly dooms humanity, what would stop him from dooming his own daughter?  It’s not as if his plan is going to save her anyway, so even if she finds Edmonton and has space kiddies with him, they’re not going to benefit from his plans, because he plans on initiating plan B.  He knew there was a good chance his daughter was not returning, and even their conversations appear to be solely based on a working relationship.  Love can be pure, and can be corrupted.  Amelia begins to cry not because her father died, but because he lied to her.  I noted it, and found it pretty profound.

To me, this is foreshadowing the eventual relationship between Cooper and Murphy.

Cooper and Murphy’s relationship is based on love.  It is based on honesty.  It is based on hope.

But ultimately, it didn’t become much different from Amelia and Professor Brand’s relationship, except for the fact the love was still there in the end.  Murphy and Cooper’s relationship eventually almost becomes a working relationship.  At the end of the movie, Cooper did keep his promise to his 10 year old daughter, but she’s no longer 10.  She’s on her death bed, and tells Cooper to basically go off and she can be with her kids.  As it’s noted by Dr.  Mann, our kids are the last thing we want to see at death.  Cooper looks around, and it’s fairly apparent he’s almost a little out of place, until he goes off to find Amelia, who is sitting alone, mourning the death of Edmonton.  Mann himself shows us how we can corrupt ourselves.

But, that working relationship still doesn’t diminish their love for each other or their bond.  All little girls grow up.  I loved seeing Murphy take charge.  I loved seeing her grow and seeing a strong female character in the movie, in the end.

That bond between Murphy and Cooper isn’t forgotten.  At first, love is dismissed to just be complete irrationality.  Love is just that thing that exists in our heads.  Love is that thing that we consider to lead us to do irrational things.

But love is why humanity was saved.  Not an equation, or technology.  What stuck out to me is when Murphy says that gravity can’t constantly be quantified, and then shortly thereafter Professor Brand is dying and admitting everything was a lie.  Love can’t be quantified.  Just because Professor Brand and Amelia happen to be father-daughter, does not mean Cooper-Murphy share the same dynamics.  Love is like gravity in the equation, in some respects.  Because Murphy and Cooper had a bond, he was able to tell her through a 5th dimension what to do.  How to save the human race. Even Amelia, who knew going to Edmonton’s planet was the right thing to do, is faced with this bond.  She says to go, she says to follow her heart, but Cooper just chalks it up to her being irrational.  But, you know, they’re on this mission because they love it.  They love space.  They love exploration.  Is it truly that irrational to follow your heart?

In between showing us our humanity, Nolan reminds us that he does still believe in humanity.  He believes we can reach for the stars and develop, unlike various other apocalyptic scenarios we always see in movies.  We can use our strength as a whole, as humans, and in that way we are big.  It brings the issue of ecology and resources into the political field, as well.

But I’ll admit it felt weird for a science fiction movie to ignore the science as much as it did, and when it didn’t ignore science the science didn’t make sense.  It was a lot of jibber jabber.  Even when the 5th dimension is explained, it’s really just confusing, aside from the fact that technically Cooper would still be aging despite the lack of hours.  He should be dead before his daughter is and I don’t consider Cooper as much of a hero as other people do.  He missed his entire kids lives.

The movie also presents a lot of themes and none of them within the movie feel very developed until you sit down and analyze them, and even then it feels like it’s ignoring a lot of science for the sake of love and it feels more like a love flick than a sci-fi.  Love is great, but, a lot of how it’s presented in Nolan’s movie can get corny.  A lot of the characters only show us the bare parts of themselves as it happens, and not much more.  We don’t see much else other than love in this movie and in between weaving it, the movie gets slow and clumsy at times.  Aside from that, we’re presented with a lot of themes that can only be seen under a microscope (sort of what I just did). A lot of the themes, including the one I just talked about, are clumsily done.  I mean, I put the movie under a microscope to get that down, and I can’t exactly think of anything else that was developed aside from those two relationships.  The astronauts aren’t developed fully – not even Cooper – Murphy isn’t developed, the son isn’t developed.  The characters remind us of humanity but don’t dig too deep into themselves.

I loved a lot about this movie; the plot, the wrap-around, the CGI and especially the music.  There’s not much humor in this post because of how much I love this movie.  It has it’s problems, like dragging it’s feet, and underdeveloped characters, but I can enjoy it because of how it wraps around and utilizes something powerful.

I do think people can take Nolan and this movie too far, but that’s their prerogative.  Don’t take anything too seriously, fanboyism included.  It’s bothersome and it just makes his work less interesting to get it constantly shoved down your throat. It doesn’t do his work any favors, and you don’t do him justice by forcing other people to dislike him  by trying to force them to like him.

tl;dr: don’t argue on the internet, it’s pointless.

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