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My post today will not be dedicated to writing. Instead, I want to talk about cinema and, in particular, about a recent movie called “Interstellar,” filmed by Christopher Nolan. Why? Well, because I was shocked, impressed, and inspired after watching it yesterday.
I am not a fan of cinema. I am indifferent to all these 3D, IMAX, and other advanced entertainment technologies, and I cannot remember a movie trailer that made me want to watch the actual movie. Hollywood movies mostly look glossy and fake to me (not all of them, but at least 80% of them), and European cinema is often boring. So, even though I saw the title “Interstellar” everywhere, I felt like, “Oh well, yet another popcorn masterpiece.” But it happened that I had a free evening, and my friends invited me to go with them, and I found no reasons to disagree, and so this is how I watched “Interstellar.”
The movie starts leisurely, and seems to be a mix of post-apocalypse, mysticism, and family drama. Indeed, when you are told that humanity may go extinct because of a lack of food, and Cooper’s (the main character) daughter can see poltergeist, and his son fails to enter a college, you somehow expect the movie to be this way. But, as the story gradually moves to space, the rate of tension increases, so it is almost impossible to draw your eyes off the screen.
The movie exploits recent discoveries in theoretical physics, and is particularly based on the theory of relativity and quantum physics. I am not a specialist in any of these branches of science: my knowledge is only limited to several books by Stephen Hawking I have read some time ago. But in general, based on what I know, it seems to me the science in “Interstellar” mostly remains science, not sci-fi—at least the stuff you see about time and gravity seems to be legit.
Anyways, science is mostly a background for the fantastic story of the relationship between a father and a daughter divided by deep space; a story of how great the human spirit can be; a story of how difficult it is to make a choice when there are no ultimately correct options. Cooper, a former NASA pilot, must fly with an expedition heading to planets in distant space, and leave his family on dying Earth. Whether he returns or not, he does not know. What the expedition is going to discover, he doesn’t know as well. All that him and his crew know is there is a chance to save humanity by finding exoplanets suitable for colonization. Now, combine this with the fact that time is not absolute, and behaves differently depending on the force of a gravitational field, and that Cooper’s expedition will spend most of the time near a huge black hole (which is pure gravity). I won’t say anything else to avoid spoilers, but you can imagine what space for dramatic maneuvers such a background allows.
All actors put on a great show as well. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, and others convey real emotions so intensely that you believe them in every particular moment of the movie. Sometimes their dialogue sounds sentimental, sometimes they explain something basic in details (they explain them to each other, although all of them are scientists, and are supposed to know these basics on their own), leaving the most complicated things unexplained to an unprepared viewer. But no matter what, all characters seem to be real—and I especially empathized with Matt Damon’s acting.
Visually, the movie looks fine. As I said, I am not a fan of modern movies—mostly because they are often oriented to impress viewers rather than tell them an interesting, extraordinary story. “Interstellar” is different. It cannot boast of super-stunning effects (although, trust me, the black hole in this movie is amazing), but everything you see serves one purpose: to show the greatness of space and the fragility of human life. Scales, sizes, and distances impress—and this is enough.
I am definitely going to watch “Interstellar” once again to clarify some things for myself, to enjoy the fantastic views accompanied by Hans Zimmer’s wonderful music, to feel the strength of the human spirit. “Interstellar” for me is the new “2001: Space Odyssey,” and I strongly recommend you watching this movie (or, rather, both of them).
P.S. By the way, have I mentioned it is rumored that Stephen Hawking himself liked and approved this film?
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