I finally got around to seeing Interstellar last week and I’m now finally getting around to reviewing it.
I really enjoyed Interstellar. I thought that it was a throwback to the grand, thought-provoking science fiction of Arthur C. Clarke. I can understand why people didn’t like Interstellar, especially if they were expecting an action movie like the most recent Star Trek films. Like the best science fiction, though, Interstellar used the genre to tell an ultimately human story.
Here are some thoughts I had while watching Interstellar.
“Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends time and space.”
Love is central to the human experience. God is love and, since we’re created in his image, we are also capable of love. Love is more than an emotion; it is a choice. As a choice, love has the opportunity to bind our lives to those around us, perhaps beyond time and space. We are capable of loving someone even after they’ve died and God is capable of loving us even though he exists outside of our complete understanding. More than the science of Interstellar, I was moved by its love and passion. The love that Cooper had for his children and that Brand had for Edmunds speaks to the Imago Dei in each of us. We were created to love and be loved; Interstellar definitely addresses that need. Ultimately, though, that need can only be fully satisfied in Christ, who loves us unconditionally and gives us an object worthy of our complete devotion.
Like Star Trek, Interstellar is built upon a philosophy of humanism. In the movie humanity accomplishes tremendous feats, including reaching across time and space. Humanity has accomplished a lot over its existence and will continue to do so until Christ returns. However, no matter how much we accomplish, we will always be hindered by sin. Sin is like an anchor that will always weigh us down regardless of the advancements we make. I’d like to think that humanity could band together to leave a dying earth to save itself, but I think that the sins of envy and prejudice would sink any plan before it got off the ground. I’m amazed at what we’ve accomplished as a species, but it will always pale in comparison to what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
A number of characters in Interstellar are forced to face life alone or without some of their closest relationships. This is another area in which Interstellar excels at portraying the human condition. It would be east to get lost in a story about the stars and saving humanity, but Christopher Nolan always grounds it in the relationships of his characters. Instead of focusing on everything “out there” we’re given the opportunity to look at what’s “right here.” We often miss out on the relationships right in front of us, and that’s without a desperate mission in outer space to save humanity. We were created for relationships and we can’t allow anything to distract us from them. Cooper didn’t let a black hole make him forget about his family and we can’t let our phones distract us from ours.
Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors. Other than Memento, I’ve been a fan of all of his films. Interstellar is a great example of what science fiction can be: an examination of the human condition set against a sci-fi background.
What did you think of Interstellar?