Interstellar, visually stunning existential thriller

imgresBy Marci  Kiszkiel
Entertainment Editor
I had high hopes for Interstellar when I first saw the trailer. Just knowing that Christopher Nolan, director of Inception, had directed the new sci-fi drama was enough to get me in a front row seat on opening night. I loved Inception and I was looking forward to seeing what Nolan was going to do next, especially since I happen to be an avid sci-fi fanatic.
Of course, a cast that included Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey certainly helped to fuel my excitement. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
Interstellar primarily follows the story of Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey. Cooper is a father of two and a former pilot for NASA, living in what appears to be a second Dust Bowl in the near future.
As the world falls to famine and the human race is quickly running out of options for survival, Cooper finds himself with the opportunity to travel far into space with a new crew from NASA in order to find a planet that can sustain human life.
Cooper, always fascinated with the idea of humanity’s place among the stars, practically jumps at the opportunity, and leaves behind his family knowing that he may not see them for many years, if ever, again.
Whether or not you’re interested in the galaxy or science, anyone can find Cooper’s character as relatable as I did. Throughout the film, Cooper not only questions what is right and wrong in a difficult situation, but he questions just where humanity belongs in the universe.
His character alone gives the audience an inevitable existential crisis and fascination with the universe as he chooses humanity’s fate and the stars over his family.
As the crew travels beyond our solar system, using a rip in the space-time continuum, we’re taken on a terrifying journey through the galaxy in which many questions on ethics and existentialism are raised.
The combination of thought provoking philosophy and scientific theory gives the viewer the best of both worlds, as both are discussed on equal ground. In fact, a scene in which Dr. Brand, played by Anne Hathaway, proposes that love can transcend across time puts both of these aspects hand-in-hand.
My physics teacher can tell you that I’m no scientific prodigy, but the film just sparks a curiosity within the viewer that makes it difficult to not to research the way a black-hole works to see if the film was accurate soon after watching, even if you don’t know the first thing about space.
Interstellar also portrays the crew’s journey in a visually stunning way. Throughout the film, scenes of the crew’s ship are shown floating through the endless galaxy, while no audio is played. This peaceful yet terrifying imagery left me at the edge of my seat, as there was no way to tell what would happen next within the infinite darkness and quiet.
Possibly the most satisfying visual aspect of the film was the fact that none of the planets the crew found themselves on looked anything like Earth, which all too often seems to be the case in sci-fi films. By showing these planets as unique with a completely different environment than what we’re used to, the film only adds to the fascination with the world for the viewer.
With brilliant writing and a fantastic performance by the cast, Interstellar is a thought provoking thriller that will make you feel small within the vast universe but also inspire you to know more about it. Sci-fi fan or not, anyone can appreciate the film and discover a newfound fascination with the galaxy around them.