HUB Movie Review: Interstellar

Story posted February 20, 2015 in News, CommRadio by Sofia Westin

Get ready for some trippy science, y’all.

Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a former engineer and pilot living sometime in the far future. In this time-period, there is no need for engineers, just farmers. (This is waaaay in the future, so don’t switch your major just yet). There is little food left on the planet, with crops dying out in the extreme weather changes, so most resources go toward putting meals on the table.

Cooper has resigned himself to farm life growing corn, with the help of his children. One day, he discovers a gravitational anomaly in his daughter’s room, which leads him to NASA. Professor Brand (Michael Caine) recruits Cooper for a mission to travel through a wormhole in space to find a new planet to sustain life.  And so, Cooper leaves his children and follows the young Miss Brand (Anne Hathaway) on this mission into a new galaxy.

Just wait, it’s more trippy than just going through a wormhole, alright, alright, alright?

Interstellar gets all the high grades from the big three. RottenTomatoes critics certified it fresh with 72 percent of them liking it, and 86 percent of its audience voters liked it. Metacritic rated it at a score of 74, with only one negative review (that’s a good sign!). IMDb audiences gave it the highest rating, 8.8.

Interstellar is nominated for five Academy Awards (which will be decided this Sunday!), including visual effects and original score. Though it did not fare as well as may have been hoped, considering most were freaking out about it on social media when the first trailer was released (cause director Christopher Nolan had revealed nothing of its plot by then), having those five nominations, albeit not one of the bigger ones, is still a high achievement for an adventure film.

On the Penn State Scale...
1—when Penn State loses a game,
2—an 8 a.m. class (which are awful),
3—a canceled 8 a.m. class,
4—free books for a year,
and 5—free Creamery for a year,

Interstellar shoots high into the sky and receives a 4.5.  Though it has some clichés, I am willing to look past them because they are such a small part of this incredible story line that Nolan and his brother, Jonathan, have created.

Now when I mentioned before that it was “trippy,” it is so in two senses: 1) Watching it the first time, you think, “Wow this is so cool, but I don’t understand half of the physics jargon, probably isn’t true, but wow,” so you brush it off and just admire the visual effects; 2) It gets to a whole other level when you realize that all that happens is theoretically possible, meaning, it has lots of science to back it up.

Don’t believe me? Well, while I was researching the film (as a good reporter would do), I looked on the IMDb trivia page, where I read that the writers worked closely with Dr. Kip Thorne, an expert on this stuff. According to IMDb, “Early in pre-production, Dr. Kip Thorne laid down two guidelines to strictly follow: nothing would violate established physical laws, and that all the wild speculations would spring from science and not from the creative mind of a screenwriter.” And so, there it is.

So with that in mind, it is so stunning that this narrative came about when the fantasy collaborated together with science (much like a theory, anyways) and made this magnificent story. The actors do a great job showcasing the struggles of seeing their existence dwindling, having little hope, and fear of being in place with no possibility of help.

The visual effects of seeing space, a black hole, the rocket leaving Earth is so real, which convinces you to let go of any reservations or doubts you may have. Sure, none of the cooler stuff is proven fact, but film offers more than just entertainment. It also offers escape, a different view, theories (though we may not know it) and creativity. And fun. Make sure to laugh a little during the movie, even though the subject is a little disconcerting.

In conclusion, film is whatever you want it to be, and Interstellar is bound to be one of them.

Also, Matt Damon? Where did he come from? You’ll see.

Sofia Westin is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and economics. To contact her, email sgw5090@psu.edu.