Barb and I went to our local Alamo Drafthouse last night to see Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. The house was packed, it was a digital 4K projection, and I was pumped to go see it based on many of the reviews I’ve seen.
It exceeded my expectations. When I was about 12 years old, I went with my Dad and a friend to see 2001: A Space Odyssey at the old Cooper Cinerama Theater in Denver. That film was incredible, but in retrospect, it was quite sterile when it came to human beings. Dave Bowman and Frank Poole barely talked to one another except when they decided that something needed to be done about HAL, the transmissions to and from Earth were all highly structured and delivered in an almost computer-like way, and even the space-to-Earth video phone calls in the film seemed unfeeling.
Not so with Interstellar. The movie is really about relationships and love surpassing “time and gravity”, not about trying to save the human race. Rather than being the bad guys in this film, the robots (TARS and CASE) do everything they can to help the humans, they’re funny, and they even lie when necessary — something that drove HAL in 2001 literally insane. The bad guys in Interstellar are humans — the schoolteachers who are using lies to make children feel better about getting stuck in farming as a losing profession, the Matt Damon character (Dr. Mann) lying about the viability of his planet to get someone to rescue him, and even Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) for lying about being close to a solution to “the gravity problem.”
But humans are also the heroes of Interstellar, showing that love drives our survival instinct and can even surpass (at least in the movies) the physical barriers of a black hole.
The special effects are incredibly good; state of the art, but not overdone. Unlike seemingly every other film made by Hollywood these days, there’s no cursing. The acting is excellent — Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are at turns joyful, sad, worried, angry, far from the unfeeling characters of 2001.
I’m not going to divulge the entire plot or throw out any spoilers here. If you haven’t seen the movie, go see it. I plan on seeing it as many times as I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey – a lot of times. I think that as with 2001, frequent viewings will reveal nuances in the story that make it even more enjoyable.