Interstellar was mostly everything it promised to be. Stunning spectacular visions – be it the rundown truck barrelling through cornfield stalks in a sunny dustbowl or the glorious transversable wormhole or a space-craft exploding across the rings of Saturn or the empty huge dead ice-fields of desolate planets. Like the movie, they were mindboggling. And my mind still boggles at the futility of such without meaning. A plot that was at best bizarre and at worst, just plain underwhelming.
Somewhere in pursuit of making that epic vision a reality and paying tribute to his favourite movie, 2001: A space Odyssey, Christopher Nolan forgot to add in one factor that’s been trademark for all his movies. Fun. I came out of the theatre, a lot disappointed and little than just befuddled.
Since it’s been playing on every fan’s mind and the theatres for more than a couple of weeks, going into the plot is meaningless. I agree to the fact that perhaps, this was Nolan’s most personal film yet.
A heady intense drama of close to 3 hours, Nolan tries to juxtapose sci-fi melodrama with some sappy father-daughter bonding that the movie centres around. About love transcending dimensions. And the moment he brings in dimensions beyond the three that define our world, I was floating. In that ether-space “What the Heck is Happening here now”. I am sorry Nolan but while am gratified by your mind-numbing trust in the audience to just up and get at the whole gist of a five-dimensional world where super beings “climb up the time dimension like canyons up and down” – it is truly and spectacularly misplaced.
Mathew McConaughey is the conflict-ridden father fighting against physics to get back to his daughter whom he promised he would get back ( in the classic time-paradox where he would be the same age as his daughter when he gets back!) – but stuck in space without a way to get back to the dying earth. This forms the crux of the plot. Ann Hathaway plays McConaughey’s co-passenger in this space exploration entrusted with finding that “inhabitable” planet across the worm-hole that would be the secret for earth’s salvation. Do they find it? Does McConaughey honor his promise to his daughter?
By the three-quarters of this slow movie, It all unravels like threads from a worn out carpet and then in the last few minutes, it whizzes past you – like the gravity of Gargantia pulling you past that ending – where it comes together like a magic carpet. Slam dunk and poof! A three-hour whooper comes to a spectacular stunning conclusion leaving you breathless and reaching for that dark void between stars, all the time intoning Dylan thomas’ lines of “Do not go gentle into that night”. You rage and rage against that dying of the light inside you trying to come to terms with this gigantic spectacularama. And sadly you fail.