Interstellar is a great movie and also one with a disconcerting level of strangeness. We begin with a gravitational anomaly and end with time that can be experienced as a fifth dimension. At sixteen, I took logic and psychology as optionals, see.
So like I said the movie begins *gravitational anomaly* and continues onto more familiar territory with *message in morse code?* and then really takes off from there with “wormholes bend time in space”. At this point I feel a little oversensitive as I notice they take mercy on gormless, drooling Wall-Eesque audiences everywhere looking for that last bit of caramel popcorn, and triumphantly hand us a bit of candy – “What’s a circle in three dimensions?” asks a scientist of an engineer, “A sphere.“, the rest of us chorus proudly and a whole instant before Matthew Mcconaughey, who is uncompetitive. Well I did do geometry in the tenth. Oh god. Or Algebra, or Trig. – point is I still remember that (for me) piece of trivia and am now an unbearable companion.
Time as the fifth dimension looks like a tesseract. A tesseract is to a cube as a cube is to a square. So sayeth the Google. You enter the dimension of time by being almost pulled into a black hole (I think?) and ejecting yourself from your little space ship (before that happens?). Here (in the tesseract) is where you tap out messages in Morse code on how to save the world to your brilliant daughter because you can see her and reach out to her at all moments of her childhood owing to the fact that your strong personal connection to her is “quantifiable” (which is kind of undeniably sweet and made me cry. This happened at least once or thrice.). Thankfully, how to save the world is not gone into in depth and is merely called “the data”. “The data” is typed out in “Morse” (half the definition of which is given around the beginning of the movie in case you hadn’t read the Trivia section of your daily today) and in the next to next scene, Mathew Mcconaughey’s body is floating unconscious in space breathing the last of the oxygen from his tank because the Tesseract closed after he sent out his message. So the Tesseract is entered physically or by the mind alone? Ask me not for I couldn’t tell you. After I was reassured that my favourite wasn’t gonna pull a Gravity on me and die I found and ate the last of my popcorn.
The story does tend to refer to human experiences as performed on a grand scale, well it would have to with a story line pursuing voyages and discoveries and new planets and new dawns. There is a grand scene on Dr. Mann’s planet where the evil brought in by the humans (or at any rate, Dr. Mann) to a still, remote, lifeless place springs into action and with a camera that pulls out to show us this unpeopled place we can also see attempted murder by an egoistic megalomaniac. Sorry if I seem pedantic but that could be a scene borrowed from Shakespeare or maybe a Greek play. The movie flourishes at moments of mighty ponderings by characters who have to try to be mighty. Or who have situations of weight handed over to them. Will they snap under the strain or take the hero’s part? (Spoiler alert: Mcconaughey is a hero.)
It’s a gorgeous movie in its themes, while it can be funny in its swings between touching on the vast goals of space research and then harping on secondary school level science as the rationale behind certain important plot points- what is Newton’s third law by the way? Snigger, snigger, snigger. Oh well, I don’t see me making a big banner, large scale, grandiose themed Hollywood motion picture, so I won’t be rude. Go see this picture, folks.