“Interstellar” is an all-engrossing and vastly entertaining Science Fiction film, currently playing at the Reel Deal. Absorbed in it, one doesn’t notice that the film runs as long as two hours and 49 minutes. Writer/producer/director Christopher Nolan opts to keep the story in one piece, unlike many over-edited films today.
“Cooper” (whose first name is never given) is a NASA trained pilot who, after a horrific crash, becomes a farmer. He is raising two kids with the help of his late wife’s father (John Lithgow) in a dystopian future, where history is rewritten to say the Apollo Moon landings were faked, and “dust bowl” conditions have led to global starvation. One crop after another fails. Humanity is on the brink of extinction.
Movie Poster for ‘Interstellar.’ Courtesy Reel Deal Theater
Through a series of gravitational anomalies (don’t ask), which his daughter “Murph” calls her “ghost,” Cooper is led to a secret facility. There he finds that, despite very public budget cuts, NASA still exists and has continued space research, with the goal of finding a new planet for the human race to inhabit. You guessed it. They need Cooper to pilot their mission. Promising to return, Cooper tears himself away from his family hoping to find a place where they and the rest of humanity might survive.
The interstellar mission includes second-generation scientist “Dr. Brand” (Anne Hathaway) and a robot named “TARS”. Not surprisingly, the script during the mission includes a lot of science-babble, not to be taken too literally.
What may surprise you is that one of the most renowned theorists of General Relativity, Kip Thorne (retired professor from Cal Tech) is an executive producer on this film. Dr. Throne provided theoretical guidance and argued for the astrophysical aspects of the movie to at least align with current physics knowledge.
As the trivia notes on IMDb.com state: “To create the wormhole and black hole, … Thorne provided pages of deeply sourced theoretical equations to the team, who then created new CGI software programs based on these equations to create accurate computer simulations of these phenomena. …The resulting VFX provided Thorne with new insight into the effects of gravitational lensing and accretion disks surrounding black holes, and led to him writing two scientific papers: one for the astrophysics community and one for the computer graphics community.
The score by Hans Zimmer is subtle and appropriate. The acting is compelling. Philosophical considerations of whether evil exists outside our galaxy, aspects of the space-time continuum, discussions of the concept of general relativity in the context of black holes and wormholes, these are all reasons to see this film and will inspire long discussions afterwards. It is rated PG-13 due to the intensity of the theme, some violence and language.