Interstellar manages to weave a powerful message of a father’s love for his daughter with a strenuous intergalactic quest to save the planet. Some of the scenes in the film will leave you stunned. When those majestic shots are coupled with McConaughey’s powerful acting, you have a box office hit.
The imagery in the film is breathtaking. As four brave astronauts trek through hellacious conditions, the audience is mesmerized by the vast entity of space. With all of the visual elements paired with yet another outstanding score from Hans Zimmer, Interstellar is one of the greatest sci-fi films you will ever have the pleasure of viewing.
Christopher Nolan wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan. Nolan is known for directing films of substantial magnitude. However, Interstellar remains one of a kind. The beginning of the movie takes place in 2067. Our storyline follows an ex-NASA pilot, Cooper, who Matthew McConaughey plays. Cooper (McConaughey) is now a converted farmer due to a global famine called blight. His family of four consists of a son and daughter, Tom and Murph, played by Timothée Chalamet and Mackenzie Foy. At the same time, their fourth family member is their late mother’s father, Donald, played by John Lithgow. Donald takes care of the kids while Cooper tends to their farm tirelessly, as the food supply on Earth is running dangerously low.
Matthew McConnahuegy delivers a truly remarkable performance. His character, Cooper, is tasked with the cruel decision of saving the planet or staying with his family early in the film. He reluctantly elects to voyage through space in search of a new home planet, even though the pain of deserting his family haunts him throughout the movie. Anne Hathaway also does a fantastic job of displaying gripping emotion.
Professor Brand (Michael Caine) plays a peculiar role in the film. While Cooper and Brand (Hathaway) are searching for a new home planet, the professor and Cooper’s daughter, Murph, are working on completing their theory of harnessing 5th-dimensional physics to manipulate gravity. In hopes that they could convert their entire Colorado NASA headquarters into a space station that inhabits the citizens of the planet. Initially, the professor seems to be very optimistic about the possibility of saving the lives of humans on Earth. Still, as the story unfolds, we learn the professor is hiding something.
On his deathbed, the professor reveals that he always had the solution to the first half of the equation. The second half of the equation would always be impossible to discover on Earth. You would need to collect data from the observations of a black hole for the completion of their theory. This news is devastating to Murph. She is angry with her father, who she assumes knew this information all along, and left her. Brand had been lying the entire time. He knew that when Cooper and Brand left Earth, they were their only hope. The Earth was a lost cause in his eyes, and he withheld this information the whole time.
Now the Endurance crew heads to Dr. Mann’s planet for inspection. Dr. Hugh Mann is a noted scientist and leader of the Lazarus missions. Matt Damon plays him. When the Endurance crew makes it to Mann’s planet, they find it is perpetually cold and has a poisonous atmosphere of methane filled with ice clouds. The team awakes Mann out of his cryosleep, where he had been asleep for 35 years. Mann tells a tale of their new frigid but beautiful world. He is spewing nonsense about the lower portion of the planet’s habitable and nearby freshwater source.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Murph has been drawn back to her childhood home. She cannot shake the memories of the anomalies from when she was a kid. The unique dust patterns on the floor, books falling off the shelf, and especially the encoded message that previously told her father, Cooper, to “stay.” Murph feels this “ghost” from her past is trying to help her.
Simultaneously, Mann leads a tour with Cooper of their new cruel and unforgiving world. Not long into their journey, Mann makes an attempt at Cooper’s life. He pulls off Cooper’s voice transmitter and shoves him off a cliff. In this scene, Mann reveals to Cooper and the audience that their new planet is entirely inhabitable. He pinged the Endurance with his beacon, knowing this information. There was never any hope for colonization on this planet. Mann was a coward. He grew lonely and depressed and let his emotions get the best of him.
Soon after, Romilly dies trying to retrieve the data from Mann’s robot, KIPP, which Mann booby-trapped since the robot would have revealed the truth about the planet.
After all of the commotion with Mann’s demise when he attempted to dock the Endurance. The Endurance is now out of control, rapidly rotating in space. Cooper tells Brand he will dock their rover manually as the tension in the film has grown exponentially over the last twenty minutes. Cooper’s docking scene becomes the climactic peak.
Against all odds, he succeeds.
Our hero, Cooper, overcame countless obstacles throughout the movie. What was one more hurdle?
Cooper and Brand now face a new problem. They do not have the equipment to return to Earth. So their only hope is to slingshot around the black hole (Gargantua) onto Edmond’s planet with their limited controls.
During their slingshot, Cooper and TARS detach from Brand. They are sacrificing themselves to collect data on the singularity and increasing Brand’s chances of survival by subtracting mass from the ship.
Here is where things get wild.
As Cooper’s shuttle is plummeting into the abyss of the black hole, his computer system tells him to eject. He does so without hesitation. Cooper then begins to descend into what seems to be some grid. He finds himself in another dimension. The fifth dimension. During his descent, Cooper hits an object that appears to be a book. The same book set fell off 10-year-old Murph’s shelf earlier in the film. He’s screaming at the top of his lungs to Murph, who he can now see through the hole in the bookshelf, but she walks away, unable to hear her father’s longing voice.
Cooper then scans his eyes across more sections of the grid. He sees Murph in another frame, pleading with her father not to leave. Cooper breaks down, realizing his daughter was right all along. He tries to deliver a message through the books, using morse code, with the news entailing “stay.”
Cut back to Earth, where Murph is in that very bedroom—coming to the revelation that her father was her “ghost” this whole time. She is no longer angry with him and now has a newfound hope.
Back in the black hole, TARS explains to Cooper that fifth-dimensional beings sent him there to communicate with Murph. His love for his daughter has transcended throughout all of time and space.
These beings have chosen Murph to save humanity, but she still needs help from her father. Cooper sends the data from the black hole through TARS via morse code to the wristwatch he gave the Murph just before he left. This revolutionary data is the second half of the gravity equation.
Of course, Murph realizes the data is in the wristwatch and goes on to save humanity.
In our opinion, the movie would have been much better if it had ended here. Instead, Nolan decides to give a more heartwarming ending.
Cooper wakes up in a hospital bed. A doctor jokingly tells him to take it easy, as he is now 124 years old. Even though he still appears to be in his mid to late 30s. Murph is on a different ship, but she still insists on seeing her father again. When Cooper and Murph have their long-awaited reunion, Murph is 99 years of age and nearing death. At the same time, Cooper looks the same as when he left.
The ending that Nolan used may have left a smile on your face, but it was not the best option. A movie like Interstellar should end with some ambiguity. The loose ends were all tied up a little too neatly. The odds of the space rangers finding Cooper floating through the emptiness of space are razor thin, which only brings in more questions than answers concerning the film’s plausibility.
All in all, Interstellar is a fantastic work of art that should be cherished by sci-fi enthusiasts worldwide. The acting, visual effects, and, most of all, the score are undeniable. Nolan can rest easy, knowing he has added another classic to his vast collection of brilliance.