Saturday, 20 December 2014

Interstellar - one last time?



I had promised to come back to Interstellar after a few weeks, once everyone had had a chance to watch it. Since Walter has also added two reviews, I will keep this one relatively short and again refer you to my Canadian Mennonite review: http://www.canadianmennonite.org/articles/no-time-give-planet-earth

There are two huge flaws in this **** film (no, that’s not an expletive). The first has been referred to at length (see also the link above): the idea that we need to put far more resources into finding ways to leave planet earth someday (‘we were not meant to stay here’) instead of finding ways to make life on earth sustainable for the long haul. 

The second flaw is the science of time travel. I understand there were expert consultants involved in the making of Interstellar and do not question the way the black hole, the singularity at its centre and the theory of relativity were used in the film. However, the way time is depicted in Interstellar is, in my opinion, completely ludicrous. 

What I understand from Interstellar is that humanity will evolve to an existence in a fifth dimension which will allow gravity to be used as a way to communicate back in time. But that evolution only happens because Cooper communicates back in time thanks to that evolution having happened. In other words, evolution only happens because evolution has happened. That’s just nonsense. Without the tools to make it happen, it could not have happened in the first place in order to provide the tools to make it happen. 

There are hints in Interstellar that this nonsense only happens because of ‘love’. That’s an interesting idea if you give ‘love’ God-like powers that allow humanity to evolve in ways (for reasons) that would not be scientifically possible. Indeed, I sometimes had the feeling that the Nolan brothers were using ‘love’ as a stand-in for God. But the lines about love fly by so quickly, and in the midst of one of the wildest rides in the history of cinema, that I will need to watch this on blu-ray and discuss it with my film group before saying more.

As Walter mentioned in comparing Interstellar to 2001, one way in which Interstellar is better than 2001 is its focus on human emotions/feelings, including love and spirit. 2001, while brilliant in every other way, is, as Walter says, a very cold film (like much of Kubrick’s work).  

That Interstellar achieves a solid **** rating from me in spite of these two huge flaws is a testament to the filmmaking genius of Christopher Nolan and the wonderful audio-visual feast he has given us (with help from many others, notably Hans Zimmer). 

1 comment:

  1. Watched it for the first time tonight. Gripped from beginning to end despite flaws. Stunning movie.

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