Interstellar reviewed by someone who doesn’t know anything about scienceBy Editor
For someone who dumped science in a wheelie bin and sped away from it at the speed of light after doing it as a double GCSE, perhaps going into Interstellar without any prior knowledge of what was going to happen was not the best idea.
However, as a huge fan of Matthew McConaughey's recent career revival, the hugely talented Jessica Chastain and of course the directorial powerhouse that is Christopher Nolan, it wasn't something I could miss. So, with a ragtag team of film buffs and a nerdy physics graduate, I headed into the cinema, ready for anything that was going to be thrown at me.
The film begins in the not too distant future, where society is close to collapse, dust storms are frequent and food is scarce. Feeling like a nod to Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, we learn that life is unsustainable and there is only one way it can be solved: by finding another planet. We are quickly introduced to a farmer and retired NASA engineer, Cooper (McConaughey), who explains: "Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here."
So far, so understandable, yes? Well, get this: his young daughter Murph then leads him to a NASA building by a helpful 'ghost', who reveals the area's coordinates via binary codes in the falling dust in her bedroom. (Thank heavens for her aversion to polish, right?).
We then learn that there is a 'wormhole' in 'space' that can potentially 'save' the future of 'humanity' by leading them to a new planet. If you understood that sentence, then I bet you don't need the introduction of Star Trek: The Next Generation explained to you. I do, though.
So he sets off into the galaxy to find this black hole, along with some science guys and a wisecracking robot. The robot is fantastic and can run around and stuff.
In all seriousness, as performances go, the cast of the film put on a stellar performance; Jessica Chastain plays a brilliant young scientist, well, brilliantly, Michael Caine does his usual 'solemn old man with great metaphors' thing, Anne Hathaway remains less annoying than usual and Matthew McConaughey is just superb, with the ability to blubber on cue whilst, at the same time, playing the all American hero character.
The effects are exquisite, and one scene in particular involving the aforementioned 'wormhole' literally blew my brainbox.
For some, the astrophysics side of the film may boggle them somewhat. However, if you seek out someone who has an understanding of the science to accompany you, you'll be sure to fathom the majority of it. (There’s also a chance you’re not a dumb dumb like me.)
The final act of the film is when the film really ties itself together (as most movies do), and will have you in deep thought for hours, if not days after.
As another project where Christopher Nolan brings brains to a blockbuster, who knows what academia he'll have a stab at next. I'm hoping he tackles 'food technology', where he enlists the help of Tom Hardy to play a mad patissier who uses a spider graph to create the best choux pastry the world has ever known.