Interstellar, a beautiful, brain-tingling ballet of time and space that will leave you spinning in more ways than one, reaches into the depths of the universe to show us the heart of humanity.
We begin our dance in the dirt-filled near future, where humanity has devolved back to a sustenance-based existence revolving around the few crops that will still grow on Earth. We no longer strive for technological advancement, we no longer dream impossible dreams, we no longer look to the stars and reach out our hands with hope, instead “we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.” And, the dirt is where we would stay except for the few that refuse to bend, refuse to allow the despair and desperation to win, refuse to give in to those who believe the improbable is impossible. Interstellar is the story of those few.
After the mechanics of wormholes and black holes are touched upon and after we are given a quick course in the temporal workings of general relativity, the movie rather quickly moves through time, literally, and we are transported through a wormhole near Saturn into another system that may contain potentially hospitable worlds. This part of the movie is much more reminiscent of the usual science fiction stories we’ve seen in the past. Intrepid explorers taking on the elements of new worlds and dealing with each other and those they left behind. Where Interstellar departs from the usual science fiction tropes is in the entrancing view we get into the universe-spanning connections between human hearts and the power they can wield to shape the destiny of humanity itself.
Hope is tested on both sides of the wormhole as failure, loss and death are encountered to the strains of Dylan Thomas’s most famous poem and Hans Zimmer’s rapturous score. We ultimately reach a threshold where our sense of reality and time, our sense of connection to those we love, past, future and present, start to interweave themselves into an operatic crescendo that brings together all the vibrating threads of time, fate, love and destiny in a heart-wrenching climax of connectedness, both universal in scope and intimate in depth.
We can embrace our past, we can hold it dear, but we can't stay there. We are human and it is in our nature to dream, to strive, to connect, to become. We can see the future and the future is us. We are the masters of our fate, our hope is the engine of our salvation and love its ultimate catalyst.