5-Dimensional Sabotage: A Look At Interstellar

It's been awhile...and I owe you one. So here it is! We grow up. We realize that this world is not the perfect sphere of resources we think it is when we're innocent. Some choose to do something about this. Some choose to ignore it.

But people like me, we think about it. We write about it.

I'm not saying I don't act. I do my share of recycling. I'm just as concerned with humanity's apathy when it comes to pollution and waste as the next guy, but I can't change the way my brain works. I can't work 8-hour days making machines to investigate unforeseen inhabitable planets. I can't sit behind a desk reworking theorems or formulas that help empirically solve the space and time conundrums of our universe. I can only write about them. And, although this is blessing and a curse, it's a way for me (and other artists who do the same or similar things) to spread the word and speculate where we might be headed in years or decades down the road.

It's one of the main reasons why I love dystopian literature so much. I'm obsessed with scouring the realm of human possibility for serious conflict, then creating characters that have no choice but to fight their way through it. That is what I do.

And what's better than investigating black holes as a place of conflict, if dystopian is what you're looking for? They're massive, filled with all kinds of danger, and seem to have no theoretical mercy about how to avoid them. They are just there...in space and completely inescapable.

So as I'm sitting in the movie theatre watching the newest, surprisingly dystopian Nolan story that is Interstellar, I can only come up with one question that keeps riddling my (nowadays) fragile brain matter: How can I possibly think my life means something when we don't even know what's just outside our galaxy's door? 

I mean, honestly, look at the wormhole below and tell me it doesn't send shivers down your spine. Wormholes are a real theory--something that could potentially occur in our space and time. It's essentially a portal to another place in space.

Yeah, yeah. I know. This sounds like it's getting a little depressing, but it's an honest question built by a quality film. What dictates life? What happens when we can no longer survive on what has been comfortably handed to us for our entire existence? 

I'll tell you what, despite the obvious, (but in my eyes) unavoidable loopholes in the overarching plot, the movie is a work of inimitable suspense. It's one of those films that feels like an hour, when in actuality, you're looking at committing a solid three, at least. It keeps you guessing, asking deep, unadulterated questions, and wanting the maps to space's deepest conquests at your fingertips as soon as humanly possible.

But overall, I felt that this story meant something. Nolan is breaking out here, trying desperately to venture to realms that we never really thought existed, and theorizing the unknown using visualization techniques that relate to the average human's analytical mind. To make a long story short, it blew my mind.

Here are some things about the film that I really liked.  ***spoilers ahead***

The Concept of Time - Our galaxy has some strict guidelines as to how organic beings perceive time, but as technology advances and our ability to observe our expansive universe becomes more of a possibility, why shouldn't our theories of time be considered relative and temporal? If gravity is variable, why can't time be bent, quickened, or slowed? In the world of Interstellar, this is much more than conceivable. It's a reality. Just as black holes increase the weight of gravity, they can also slow time's constraints as we understand them on Earth. Even on the outskirts of it, the frame of time (as stated in the movie) is 7 years per every 1 hour a living organism remains in its field. Yeah, this is interesting and all, but it's the way that that affects the Murph-Coop storyline that makes the development of the characters so undeniable and critical, while fortifying every decision the characters must make in their process of preserving the human race.

The Attempt at the Unknown - I'm not the world's leading expert on scientific knowledge. In fact, I'm not even close, but it seemed, although abstract and, at times, unrealistic, the science behind the universe's giant unknowns (like wormholes and black holes) are creatively sound. Traveling into event horizons and entering a manifested 5-dimensional "tesseract" (as it is called in the film) is an overcompensation, however. Unfortunately, the "horizon" scene was a critical function of the movie's plot, but I can see why the story had to be built in this way. Essentially, I guess the writers of Interstellar want the world to understand that everything is imperfect and temporary, including our perception of time as we know it.

The Illusion of Hope - I wanted this film to be a "feel good" movie, but it wasn't, and to my surprise, I liked it better this way. I wanted everything to go on as planned, like Cooper's travels were nothing more than a bad dream, but that would have clearly demolished the story's true intentions. This story was always meant to emerge from human desperation, to play on our innermost desires to press forward with curiosity, even when danger seems to overwhelm it, and rip at our hearts when the difference of age withers the relationship between father and daughter.

Yet, I was sucked into the idea that, even though things looked super bleak, there was always hope that they would somehow return home. Turns out I was right and wrong at the same time. Go figure...

Overall, I give this flick a solid A-. The "mind-blowing" nature of the film is a spectacle in itself, but the plot and overarching scientific ideas (i.e. Theory of Relativity, Event Horizons, Neutron Stars, etc.) could have been explained in more detail as to ensure complete viewer investment.

Go see the movie if you can. It's a great sci-fi movie that deserves a ton of recognition for its Odyssey-like attributes.