Interstellar review

This is just a bit of ramble about Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar...


A still from the movie, a particularly unrealistic and bizarre scene. image:Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros

Just watched Interstellar, it was visually impressive but overall frustrating. As a science fiction fan from the first scenes of ‘ghosts’ I started to become suspicious of how the movie was going to unfold.  This was essentially an attempt to present Nolan’s previous work of Inception but putting some highly interpretative principles of relativity instead of dream states.  

The fact that the movie uses time travel in the way it does, although kind of cleverly, really detracts from the hard science fiction feel to it. Interstellar is really just pure science fantasy. It didn’t really feel authentic but just fantastical. 

The ‘magical fuel’ used in the spacecraft also makes the whole movie a bit pointless. The story premise of a dying earth and the idea that humanity overall has no will to solve the problem seems defeatist and that only a secret form of NASA is functional is just silly. 

The planetary explorations were just unconvincing . So they sent probes to these planets and couldn’t work out all their basic features? That is frustrating and unrealistic.  

The extreme time dilation effects on the water world and the physics of the planet just are not plausible.  (There was a Star Trek Voyager episode that actually did this a bit better). The kind of time dilation due to gravitational effects would be close to crushing anything. Think a neutron star. This extreme type of time dilation is only really workable in a movie in a space ship travelling away at close to the speed of light. 

Even after reading the reviews on imdb there seems to be a polarising view of this film. This film is less science fiction and more monologue and driven by undeveloped characters in someways. The overall film seems too sentimental and regretful and overly emotional. Real space explorations are done by very focused, professional people who are calm under pressure.

Perhaps the best way to come to terms with this film is by thinking that is some kind of dream crossover from a character in Inception. The final scenes of Interstellar certainly are very reminiscent of that feeling too.

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