Nation of Beancounters

*Interstellar*

Posted in Uncategorized by Navin Kumar on November 13, 2014

Major Spoilers

I enjoyed the time dilation, which fits comfortably in both hardcore SFF (e.g. Speaker for the Dead) and Nolan’s own oeuvre e.g. Inception. The robots, spacescapes and alien landscapes are highly original and  constitute the best parts of the film. On the other hand, the pacing is unusually bad, too slow at some points and too fast at others. Cutting out the in-universe injunction against space travel and the faff about love connecting people across dimensions would greatly improve the film.

It’s an uneven film, but it will age well. It reminds me of Solaris and 2001: A Space Odyssey, both of which are significantly more difficult than Interstellar but are now part of science fiction canon. It had one of the most interesting paradoxes I’ve seen in recent science fiction – you need data from within a black hole to understand how to manipulate gravity but you need to manipulate gravity to get data from within a black hole. The resolution of this paradox by beings who cannot directly communicate with humanity is at the core of the plot.

The story is not difficult to follow. However, the core paradox is revealed late and its significance is never highlighted, so it’s not immediately obvious how disparate things tie-in with each other. This makes the plot difficult to follow, and makes Interstellar uncharacteristically disconcerting for a Nolan film. I see a lot of people reacting to this by looking for non-existent plot holes.

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