Interstellar (potential spoilers)

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I watched Christopher Nolan’s epic hard science fiction movie Interstellar over the weekend while Jill was ill and I wasn’t. Visually, it was awesome, but the story left me feeling underwhelmed.

Now, I’m not sure if I’m the right kind of person to be judging this as I probably understand more about the scientific jargon that they use in the film than Joe Average, but it was nothing about the science that was an issue. I think that it fell into the 2001 A Space Odyssey trap of loving itself just a little too much. Some of the key events seemed very semaphored and obvious, especially who was signalling to humanity, and the revelations of Dr. Mann’s world. Some of the backstory elements; for example, the chasing of the drone and the weird compass effects on the combine harvesters weren’t that well developed and seemed to be bolted onto the plot for exposition. I’m also not convinced about the entry into the black hole, but I’ll take John O’s recommendation and read Kip Thorne’s tie-in science book first before I have a final judgement on that.

One element I did like was the way that it used an analogy with the issues seen in the present-day USA with creationists rewriting text books to remove evolution, to a plot thread with the US government officially having the Apollo programme officially a successful propaganda exercise and that the moon landings never happened. The smugness of the young teacher spouting this off made me want to shout at the screen. I think you could make a really interesting film using this as a concept. The ideal vehicle for it would be the novel by Niven, Pournelle  & Flynn: Fallen Angels.

I enjoyed the film, and will happily watch it again, but I think it reached high, and fell short of the stars.

9 April 2015
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