December 19, 2014

Movie : Interstellar (2014)

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 10:35 pm

This movie was a big disappointment for me and I will tell you why.

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First, the movie had a buzz and was talked about in the same hushed tones that people use for movies like Inception and so I was expecting something fabulous in concept and execution, perhaps a worthy heir to the all time great movie The Matrix.

Second, after Matthew McConaughey cleaned up his boy toy roles and started doing fabulous movies and serious roles, I always wanted to see his recent movies and opted to see this first and expected to see his Oscar worthy performance in this film.

Both expectations were dashed very soon.

The movie revolves around earth rapidly approaching annihilation due to shortage of food to eat. The whole world seems to have turned agrarian, with people surviving on subsistence farming, and even then having a losing battle against dust storms, plant blights and other assorted pestilences that make it a challenge to grow a decent crop.

Cooper – played by Mathew McCounaughey –   is an old NASA pilot who misses the old days of space flights but is forced to farm as NASA had shut down long ago. Why? The world cannot afford such frivolous expenses as space travel and should focus on necessities like, well, farming. He lives with his son Tom and daughter Murph. Murph has got a scientific bent of mind while Tom loves and adores farming. Also with them is David, who is Cooper’s father – it is strange to see John Lithgow after his days in The Third Rock from the Sun days.

The story is weird. Based on some poltergeist act, they discover that some Morse code patters are there on the ground, and Cooper goes in search of it. Murph steals into his automobile, forcing him to take her too. They discover that NASA is not only still operational but have a plan to find a new planet that is habitable and transport the entire mankind from earth into that planet. The old Professor Bland, played by Michael Caine, sends a team to explore, including his daughter Amelia.

Three scientists were sent before Cooper but they seem to be sending signals still, which means there are three alternative planets to explore. Why the wormhole? Because mankind cannot travel to any inhabitable planet, even the nearest one, in any one person’s lifetime because it takes hundreds of light years to reach. A wormhole is a short cut. This at least seems to be the real scientific theory.

In the middle we come across a lot of bogus science about wormholes and black holes and some absurd visual representations of the same. They go close to a black hole and a planet seems to be surviving on the edge of it, and that is one of those that needs to be explored.

The story goes completely berserk where Cooper seems to be dead but is not and then even his body is found and revived! Amelia, when faced with a choice of which planet to visit (they can visit only one, after the fiasco with the first one they chose) elects to go to the third because of “love”. And love figures prominently as something that is even greater than any science. Wait, that sounds normal but in the movie, when they try to explain in science terms sounds completely absurd.

The whole movie is pointless. In fact, Michael Caine plays no big part in the movie and is just a prop for one of the bizarre twists. There is interminable and boring discussions on space stuff which has nothing to do with the movie that any average viewer can understand let alone appreciate and the movie goes completely weird again and again. David, the father and Tom the son, appear to do nothing significant – more props, as far as I can see. The movie does not move coherently from one to the other and even the floating scenes were done much better in Gravity, which is exhilarating compared to this.

Anne Hatheway is Amelia and except for crying and moaning a lot about love, does nothing either!

Now what about Mathew McCounaughey himself? I don’t know. He does not have a great scope in this because it is an adventure movie not an emotional one. On top of that, he keeps drawling his words out which seems out of place in this movie. I did not get a great vibe from this character in this movie.

The ending and the mystery of the Morse Code ghost are all confusing. The movie alternates between trying to be a science fiction and sudden emotional lurches about love being the great thing and falls between both platforms.

I know it got a fairly good review in the media but I have to only rate it as how I saw it.

Let us say a 3/10

  • – Krishna

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