There is a reason why we are here on earth and not somewhere else; a gift or a burden according to our attitude, this is the fact. We live on earth, our only home; dreams and plans of colonising other drifting rocks have succeeded only in films. Interstellar is the newest of them, deploying its story through a long narration; a constant feel of suffocation and nausea, on earth caused by the blowing dust, in space resulting from the claustrophobic no-way-out room of the spacecraft, or the ammoniac air on the potential new homes, or the abnormal cylindrical form of the chosen new home; it keeps the dialogue to short phrases. The heroes save their breath all the way; there is doomed bravery, manipulative lies, imaginative trips through wormholes and time-spins and some humour coming from the accompanying robots. There is also one hero who has gone nuts* and takes the stigma of the coward and the evil; but his action is what triggers the catharsis, the solution that lets the pieces fall into some place. Saying that, the film leaves an open door to more stories to come; the script-writers might already be busy.
Themes that pass in the story: ecology, science, the NASA, history, ageing (individually and as species?), belief to a more powerful other and atheism as expression of confidence to our brain, trust to our gut feel on the other side, the individual versus the collective, love versus logic, and the duty to do what you can, just to mention some. Trust to humans in a melancholic way comes as bottom line and I can go with this since the basic questions: where am I, where am I going to, who are we anyway, pop up too while floating in space.
But there are more, less graceful questions to be asked, like: what happened to the animals; where they all extinct before space colonisation? Did we take any with, even in a tube? How did we find the way back to the same worm-hole? How did communication with the earth continue when we entered unknown space zones? While the film is full with scientific explanations that most of us do not understand anyway, such questions stay out of the list whatsoever. Still, we learn that a worm-hole looks like a sphere, and this is even drawn for us on paper!
Some expressed disappointment for the film while comparing it to Cubric’s Odyssey, not finding the poetry in Interstellar. It is too common for the theme, too silly, too casual. However, poetry in art has been accused as bourgeois aesthetics; on the other hand, the down to earth human sound of the film and the limited talks and movements, belong to our times poetry; not cursing but not praising either. The casual in this film strikes as the most honest expression of melancholy about the strives of humans; the earthy ones and the others. Besides, its earthy aesthetics brings to mind science fiction series of the 70’s like “Space 1999” or “Lost in space”; what a thrill!
Going back home from the cinema I felt younger than before I entered and lighter (some bricks lifted from the soul). It is not about hope; rather about a melancholy shared.
* I don’t know if it is a well silenced joke (or catch), but I couldn’t believe my eyes: they find Matt Damon on a star, and he is a coward and evil selfish nut-case!
P.S. 1 Once you’ve seen the film check also this article where the titles of the books falling from the shelves are revealed.
P.S. 2 The only real downer of Interstellar is the music; I ignored it all the way.
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