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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Life + Arts

‘Interstellar’ proves to be a gripping, stellar tale

“Interstellar” explores the nature of humanity and family through emotional and scientific lenses, which stimulate and guide you through the unforgettable journey that is this film.

As Earth becomes overpopulated and crops begin to die, the fate of humanity lies in the hands of Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a prior NASA pilot, to man a mission into a wormhole that’s appeared by Saturn. It’s a mission that would mean leaving his family and there’s no telling how long it would take to find a suitable world to inhabit, or if he’d even return.

Accompanied by Amelia Brant (Anne Hathaway) and a crew of scientists, Cooper follows the lead of Professor Brandt (Michael Caine) and has to take in all the rules of the universe as he attempts to save the lives of those on Earth and his family.

The theoretical and conceptual physics affinity that I have was more than justified after witnessing Interstellar’s complex explanations of space-time and other such events. More than anything, “Interstellar” relays strong messages about the need to explore the greater reaches of space and give our best effort to save those who we love here on Earth.

Christopher Nolan has certainly outdone himself on an intellectual level and a technical scale, as “Interstellar” is an accumulation of meticulous work.

Working with his brother, Jonathan, Nolan explores many theoretical aspects of space, time and the unknown, and the amount of accuracy and effort he put into researching and theorizing shows. Nolan doesn’t treat his audience as dumb, but he takes care to explain how everything works and his dramatic dialogue and unfolding of events really emphasizes just how strange and drastic things are outside of Earth.

To make matters even more relatable, Nolan stresses what humanity really means and how it affects us during certain events in our lives.

The focus on the preservation of our species in a few different ways make the stakes high as is, but the inclusion of familial ties adds a layer of depth to every character and allows the audience to view things from the same perspective. Nolan also brings the dark side of humanity to the table as he explores how people act in dire situations.

While there are many themes prevalent in “Interstellar”, none are more effective and relevant than the spirit of exploration into the unknown.

We were pioneers looking for new possibilities out in space. Something happened along the way and now we’ve shifted our focus away from traveling into the unknown. People settle for “good” because it’s easy and that want to go further seems to be dwindling.

Nolan expertly exemplifies how thrilling and frightening space travel can be as what you may find is equally exciting and dangerous. There are never moments of comfort and rest in “Interstellar” because every action has consequences and time is working against everyone.

It helps that IMAX screens allow us to take in all the beauty that Nolan created. While traveling light-years away from Earth, Hans Zimmer‘s emotionally fueled score accompanies us and practically manipulates the audience’s emotions.

On a visual level, “Interstellar” is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Shot in 70mm and 35mm film, Nolan had a specific vision for how his film should look. His visual effects crew really outdid themselves with the work done of the wormhole and black hole, as well as the new planets they’re trying to reach.

Even with grand scale effects, the focus on this film is always on the story at hand, and it’s incredible how alluring and effective that story was. Love for our family, our species and ourselves takes the forefront in this film.

Sci-fi often deals with aliens and Earth being in danger of destruction, but the best sci-fi deals with humans and their fight for survival.

Matthew McConaughey gives his most emotional and moving performance in “Interstellar.” He practically carries this film on his back, but he’s joined by very moving and effective performances from Hathaway and Jessica Chastain.

Both women bring unbelievable emotion and determination to this film, and their will to fight on and find solutions is extraordinary. There’s a ton of talent in this film, and the performances are all strong, making the film and its story more effective.

This is a film that may take a couple viewings to fully understand and appreciate, but I believe it will spawn lots of great conversation.

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