Interstellar

From director Christopher Nolan comes Interstellar a science fiction movie written by Nolan and his brother Jonathon Nolan and starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow & Lean Cairns have supporting roles.

In the near future the human population are having a shortage of food and hence is a failing agrarian society with frequent dust storms. Former pilot Cooper runs a farm with his father-in-law Donald, son Tom & 10 year old daughter Murphy “Murph”. Murph believes that there is a poltergeist in her room that is trying to communicate with her, dropping books and leaving markings in the dust and on investigating Copper believes that the “ghost” is an unknown intelligence sending coded messages using gravitational waves, leaving binary coordinates in the dust that direct them to a secret NASA installation led by Professor John Brand. Brand informs Cooper than a wormhole has opened near Saturn, presumably by an alien intelligence, and that the wormhole leads to another galaxy where 3 possibly habitable worlds orbiting a super-large black hole that they named ‘Gargantua’. The three planets are named Miller, Mann & Edmunds after the astronauts who were sent to survey them on a one way mission. Brand recruits Cooper to pilot the spacecraft Endurance to recover the astronauts’ data; if one of the planets is habitable, humanity will follow on space stations.

Murphy takes his leaving the hardest and refuses to be amicable. On the Endurance Cooper is joined by Brand’s daughter biotechnologist Amelia and two other scientists Romilly (David Gyasi) and Doyle (Wes Bentley) as well as advanced robots TARS and CASE. After they enter the wormhole they head to the planet Miller but find that the planet suffers from severe gravitational time dilation due to being too close to the blackhole; each hour on the planet is roughly equivalent to 7 hours on earth! Amelia, Romilly and Cooper head to the planet on one of the shuttles to retrieve the data left behind by Miller but a gigantic wave hits them and Doyle is killed. With a little delay the other two head back to Endurance where Doyle has spent 23 years all alone! On earth meanwhile, a now grown up Murphy is a NASA scientist working with professor Brand on an equation that will enable NASA to launch the space stations via gravity. However on his deathbed Brand confesses that he feels that it is impossible to do so and that he concealed his conclusion to keep hopes alive and also that Plan B was to restart the human population on a new planet using frozen embryos kept on board Endurance.

Murphy however believes that she can figure out the formula with additional data from a black hole’s singularity. Meanwhile the 3 remaining crew on Endurance have enough fuel to go to one more planet and they pick Mann as data is still being transmitted. They bring Mann out of cryosleep and he shows them the planet’s surface which is covered in icy glacier, perpetually cold and mostly inhospitable. However Mann, who knew about the embryos and Plan B all along, faked data to get the Endurance to pick him up and lures Cooper away to protect his secret. He & Cooper fight and the former breaks the latter’s visor and runs back to the shuttle. Romilly is killed by a bomb Mann set to protect his secret. Amelia rescues Cooper using the other cargo shuttle, and they arrive at Endurance in time to witness Mann docking improperly. The airlock explodes, killing Mann and causing serious damage, but Cooper uses the cargo shuttle to get Endurance under control. Almost out of fuel Cooper & Amelia plan to slingshot Endurance around Gargantua on a course toward Edmunds on the other side of the black hole while many years will pass on Earth. However Cooper & TARS use their shuttle to detach themselves from the Endurance in order to lower the load and give Amelia with CASE a better chance of reaching the planet.

TARS and Cooper collect data from the singularity and send it to Endurance before the shuttle is destroyed forcing Cooper to eject himself and TARS into space. They emerge into this inter-dimensional tesseract where time appears as a spatial dimension and portals show glimpses of Murphy’s childhood bedroom at various times. Cooper realizes that the wormhole’s creators are future humans transcending time and space, who have constructed the tesseract so he can communicate with Murphy as her “ghost” and save humanity. Using gravitational waves, Cooper encodes TARS’s data on the singularity into the adult Murphy’s watch, allowing her to solve Brand’s equation and launch the space stations. Once Murphy realizes that it is her father reaching out to her and she collects the data, the tesseract dissolves and Cooper is moved to the wormhole where he is pulled back in and is found floating near Saturn. When he comes to he finds himself onboard a large biological NASA space station on which the humans on earth now live. He is reunited briefly with an elderly Murphy, who pioneered the exodus of humans from earth to space stations in the Milky Way, and is now near death. She tells him to find Amelia who is implementing Plan B with CASE on Edmunds’s desert, hospitable planet. Cooper and TARS, who was also rescued from space, steal a NASA shuttle to travel to Edmunds’s Planet.

Bold, beautifully shot, ambitious, special effects laden, artistically gratifying, excellent acting (though I still can’t stand McConaughey) but the ending ruined it for me with with the “love” as a 5th dimension and the transcendal futuristic humans guiding Cooper to see Murph etc. For the last maybe 30 minutes I didn’t really enjoy the film though the rest is great. Surprised by some logical goofs though and choices that the characters make. Still, I shall give it an 8.5 outta 10, mainly for the science & scifi elements.

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