The movie “Interstellar” had initiated its start-up sequence last Friday when it opened in theaters across the country. On a futuristic Earth, a modern-day dust bowl has plagued its inhabitants for decades. It threatens humanity’s ability to support life, throwing them into an agrarian lifestyle.
Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, once flew as a pilot for NASA and now lives on and runs a farm with his father-in-law, teenage son and young daughter.
Murphy (Mackenzie Foy), who is 10, believes her room is being haunted by a poltergeist who is trying to speak with her. She and Cooper discover that the “ghost” is communicating via gravitational waves that send binary coordinates to an underground NASA base and Professor Brand.
Brand has discovered a worm hole, presumably created by alien life forms, that shows a way to new planets that could be able to support human survival if Earth ceases to be habitable.
Using what NASA called the “Lazarus Missions,” astronauts are sent through the worm hole. Orbiting a large black hole called Gargantua, three possible home planets are discovered and named after the pilots who landed on them. Recruited to pilot Endurance, Cooper is to journey to the planets and recover the data collected by the original astronauts. If a planet is supportive of human life, humans will follow afterwards in space shuttles.
Unfortunately, Brand is facing complications in being able to negate gravity enough to lift the shuttles through the stratosphere. If his strategy doesn’t work, then he will have to initiate “Plan B”, where fertilized embryos are used to restart humanity.
After leaving his family, Cooper joins up with Brand’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), physicist Romilly (David Gyasi) and geographer Doyle (Wes Bentley). After entering the worm hole, the newest exploratory team encounter new planets, danger, mutiny and extra-dimensional tesseracts in their search for a new Earth.
Christopher Nolan directs movies of a high cerebral caliber, including “Insomnia” and “The Prestige.” However, “Interstellar” offers a less casual appeal than “Inception” and “The Dark Knight Trilogy” when, supposedly rooted in the love between father and daughter, deals more with the cold hard science to explain the mechanics of humanity when faced with destruction.
Another prominent issue with “Interstellar” is purposeful voice mumbling. When asked why he made the choice to make some of the dialogue unintelligible, Nolan responded that he had used dialogue as a sound effect and that he appreciates when sound is used impressionistically. Although it was an intentional creative choice, several movie theaters put up signs explaining that it was not an equipment malfunction, but actually part of the movie.
There is an intricate weaving of futuristic, high-tech science action scenes with old-movie style banter, the comic relief often provided by the Endurance’s robot TARS, who has his humor setting at 90 percent. With dedicated acting by both McConaughey and Hathaway, the movie as a whole sweeps the watcher away on an incredibly captivating journey through undiscovered space, making the two hours and 49 minutes worth it.
While there are several stylistic choices which Nolan made that didn’t connect with all audience members, the pure impact of the story will have them sitting on the edges of their seats.