Thursday, November 27, 2014

Film Review: Interstellar

Copyright: Paramount Pictures
I don’t care about explaining worm hole or black holes, I don’t care about the reasons why a world is dying (that is why I can ignore ridiculous reasons like plant illnesses) or what preposterous plan is made up to save it. I love science fiction in every shape and form, but if it’s good, I can set aside any problems if a work of art built on solid foundations. This means that I do care about the characters and how they act in different situations, and how they grow and develop under these circumstances.

Here is the tragic thing about Interstellar and Christopher Nolan: he builds his characters meticulously, like a genetic engineer would work on his pet project in the most equipped lab in the world. Like a geneticist, he creates everyone’s narrative DNA brick by brick, making sure that they produce the strongest possible impact when they are brought to the world. But, there is a cruel touch that can be felt in that mixture, one that belongs to a cold, calculated demographic analyst and not an artist ready to himself begin a journey of exploration.

This Interstellar review isn’t about how Nolan made a bad movie. It’s about he made a perfectly tunned film that was designed to be liked, even worse, to be loved. For me, this is a terrific flaw, and to add salt to the wound, I think it was premeditated to the last miniscule detail.

Interstellar movie tells the audience much about relativity and astrophysics. It is set in the future, where a famine destroyed the current society, and replaced it with a utilitarian one, where almost every citizen is a farmer. In spite of that, humanity continues to suffer, while the public turns away from science and especially space exploration as something that can help them out.

Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a former pilot who now runs a farm and raises his family. One day, he witnesses a strange phenomenon that includes gravity and it eventually leads him to the stars, where the humanities only real chance lies. With his crew, he sets off, but leaves his son and daughter back on Earth, and soon, they lose direct contact, separated by galaxies. Not only that, but time runs differently on both ends, but love continues to be felt on both sides as an almost tangible force. But, McConaughey and all other A-list actors are not the problem here.

Interstellar is an incredibly predictable film, right from the first “strange” moment. It features many space movie tropes, including the bending of the paper which is use to explain wormhole travel. It offers a very pop and trendy defense of modern science and technology that is equally lame as the current real-life threats against it coming from Creationist and similar “thinkers”. It provides fake science explanations about things no one even wondered about. In some ways, it reminds me of the historical Cult of Reason, where the French revolutionaries created the same monstrosity they were initially fighting against.

All this is for me trivial to the fact that is crucial for this Interstellar review. Nolan made the film in the same fashion in which successful Coke commercials are made. He and his team found a way to target emotion soft spots primarily through many different versions of love (parental, romantic, and platonic). It marinated them in masterful dynamic and excitement key points, and seasoned them with hopes and fears of the entire species. But it tells nothing about the human condition, or the future of it. It tells us that science is great and indispensable, but also that “love” is a quantifiable force. If this film was a voter, it would vote for everyone on the list. It Rock and Country; left and right; science and religion and because of this, it ends up as total BS. It doesn’t take a single risk during its 170 runtime.

Interstellar movie knows what we like, and it shovels the same things down our throat, while in the background, a black hole can be seen.