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This article was originally published for Examiner.com.
The Nolan brothers have done the impossible with Interstellar: they have created their own innovative glimpse into the future of space exploration that is starkly different but still akin and on par with Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick’s vision in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
This movie is not 2001; it is its own animal.
And rarely has physics, time, and space been so gritty or intense.
At some point Christopher and Jonathan Nolan will go down as two of the greatest writers of the twenty-first century, and Interstellar is an awe-inspiring and stunningly real tribute to creative story telling, science fiction, and humanity’s responsibility to pioneer the universe.
What will Stephen Hawking say?
The visuals, plates kept turned over to prevent dust from covering their eating surfaces on our own planet to the black hole Gargantua, are some of the most powerful cinematography and special effects to ever grace the screen.
But is it realistic?
It certainly invokes such stomach clenching fits and such poignantly sad emotional journeys through the main characters’ lives that it could be.
And there are scenes of flying in Interstellar that put flight and space simulators to shame.
The artistic feel and trauma surrounding the unknown reaches of space, wormholes, black holes, and foreign galaxies leave an everlasting impression.
This film is deep, impactful, and transcendent in every sense of the word, and it is very moving.
Philosophy is evident in nearly every scene, but the genius of director Nolan is in bringing forth so much feeling along with the messages and thought-provoking themes.
Emerson, Omar Khayyam, and Joseph Campbell would surely have loved the sense of one-ness and existentialism that the wormhole and later on the black hole invoke in Interstellar; it is hard not to.
Notions of carpe diem, what it means to be conscious in the universe at large, and glimpses into the inner being that can at times go beyond the three dimensions we know and force the laws of time and gravity to bend to a human will pervades the film.
And there is nothing quite as grim as an earth where over-use of the land and frequent storms make farming a battle with blight and dust, where over-use of harmful carbon emissions has made such drastically extreme weather – and that is really what global warming and climate change does: alter the currents and bring about more extreme weather than anyone has ever seen – that the world’s people are starving irrevocably as the levels of oxygen fall to threaten the starving generation's ability to breathe.
It is in this dark scenario that philosophy blossoms and takes shape in myriad forms throughout this picture.
From the brilliant performance of Matthew McConaughey, playing Cooper, and his heart-wrenching relationship with his children in a broken world that is failing him and forcing him to leave them behind in the hope of saving earth’s people and meeting them again beyond all hope to the epic designs of salvation via the hands of science in Michael Caine’s great portrayal of Professor Brand, whose dilemma regarding a dying world versus the fate of the species, philosophy delves deeply and painfully.
The thought of loneliness overcoming all sense of damning and possibly murdering one’s entire planet wreaks havoc on the mind of Dr. Mann, played by Matt Damon, and his own philosophical mind is overrun in an attempt to justify his bleak decisions.
Spoiler warning over
There is the strongest display of humanity here, in all of its beauty and bruises amidst utterly surreal landscapes of planetary and interstellar space.
Interstellar as a film is a timeless work of art that will continue to change people’s lives for a long time to come.