Now Showing: ‘Interstellar’


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Cooper (McConaughey) explores the surface of an unknown planet located within another universe.

Lilly Ball, Asst. A&E Editor

From Christopher Nolan, director of “The Dark Knight” and “Inception” comes Hollywood’s most recent space-themed epic. With a gravitational pull that sucks in the audience, “Interstellar” gives life to the emptiness of space, leaving viewers breathless with its flawless cinematography and imaginative plot.

“Interstellar” offers audiences a peek into the fate of Earth and mankind, some forty years into the future. Due to food shortages, the majority of society has gone into farming, leaving science and engineering occupations useless. Terrible dust storms plague the land, and it is clear that all life on Earth will soon perish. Cooper, (Matthew McConaughey) a farmer who previously worked as a pilot and engineer for NASA, lives on a farm with his father-in-law and his two children, Murph and Tom, who both strive to follow in their father’s footsteps into engineering.

After a series of strange events leads him to stumble upon NASA’s secret base, Cooper is needed to man a mission through a wormhole into another universe in search of a hospitable planet for humankind to colonize. Cooper is hesitant to leave, knowing that time passes differently in space, and that he will return at a much later time in Tom and Murph’s life, when they are much older than their father. However, he agrees to the mission and meets his new colleagues, Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), Doyle (Wes Bentley), and Romilly (David Gyasi), who will join him on the mission to save humanity.

Meanwhile, Cooper’s children grow up on Earth without their father, waiting for his return. Murph (Jessica Chastain), who grows up to become an intelligent young woman working at NASA like her father, does not understand why he has not returned. Tom (Casey Affleck) gave up on waiting and turned to farming, starting his own family on the farm that he grew up on. As years pass by on Earth, mere moments pass by for Cooper and Brand in space. Both yearn to be back with their families, but several complications get in the way.

After the plot takes off, events happen so quickly that it’s easy to get confused if you are not paying close attention. Characters seem to appear without explanation, and the moments of extreme suspense become so frequent that I was grateful for the occasional moment of silence when music was not blaring and I could uncover my eyes and ears. Nolan tries to pack multiple theories of relativity and space into his nearly three hour film, but even with this amount of time, much of the scientific jargon is still confusing for normal audience members. The multiple plot twists lead me to wonder if Nolan came up with the ending of the film first, and then worked his way back. To fully understand the plot of “Interstellar,” you either need to take notes or have a background in physics.

While the intense plot was emotionally exhausting and made my brain hurt, the cinematography of the film pulled me in, and I felt as if I was viewing real images of the stars beyond our universe. Nolan presents the strange beauty of deep space scene after scene. From the inside of a black hole to the surfaces of unknown planets from far away galaxies, the visuals are mesmerizing and epic enough to make up for the choppy plot.

With the busy soundtrack and special effects of “Interstellar,” decent acting could have easily been just another aspect to the intricate film. Nolan may have set the stage for a great movie, but McConaughey made it exceptional. His portrayal of a loving father, light years away from his children, brought tears to my eyes. The isolation of space reveals the darkest aspects of human nature, but it also shows the strength of love. Nolan may focus on the force of gravity in this film, but the power of love is presented as an even greater force, capable of transcending time and space.

It is not the science fiction aspect of the film that separates it from other space epics, but rather its exploration of what it means to be human. Despite its flawed plot, the film accomplishes something rare for a blockbuster. The concept and themes presented in the film are thought-provoking, and stay with viewers long after the credits have rolled.