War of the Words: Interstellar

In our new, fresh and hot column (*EXPLOSION*), Haaris Qureshi and Ritwik Sarkar battle it out over Christopher Nolan’s divisive space-epic Interstellar, where Matthew McConaughey and co. go interstellar to save the earth when they are hit by perpetual blight. In similar fashion to Nolan’s other heady sci-fi, Inception, there’s a lot to chew on as he makes a whole new world…

In Defence

There are many reasons why Interstellar deserves recognition as not only a great piece of science fiction, but of cinema. The most apparent is the film’s very brilliant execution of hard science fiction – that is, science fiction that’s very grounded in either existing or theoretical physics. It helps when one of the executive producers of the film is Dr. Kip Thorne. The film brilliantly shows that it is possible to create science fiction ‘rigorously grounded in science’ (as The Space Review comments in its review of The Science of Interstellar). Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, another American astrophysicist, has also expressed how realistic Interstellar is, giving it a 9/10 for realism.

“The film brilliantly shows that it is possible to create science fiction ‘rigorously grounded in science’”

Apart from being a brilliant demonstration of science (also, may I add two scientific papers were written as a direct result of Interstellar) the film is very dramatic. From its fantastic score from Hans Zimmer, to the very human acting of the cast, particularly from Matthew McConaughey, the film definitely resonated with me and was one I enjoyed rewatching.

Haaris Qureshi

In Offence

Despite a ‘stellar’ cast, Interstellar used breathtaking visuals to compensate for the glaring plot-holes on far too many occasions. Though a familiar metanarrative, Nolan’s refusal to utilise formulaic tropes destroyed what could’ve been one of the movies of the 21st century.

“The filmmaker’s efforts to blur the lines of astrophysics and usher in complex notions of space and time are more confounding than awe inspiring”

The filmmaker’s efforts to blur the lines of astrophysics and usher in complex notions of space and time are more confounding than awe inspiring. And then there’s Matt Damon’s role, the promise of which builds up excruciatingly to an infuriating anti-climax that typifies the entire movie. Interstellar had all the potential of a full-bred stallion, but all the delivery of a donkey on steroids: a disappointing movie that needs a cinema to be enjoyed, and an ignorance of plot to be appreciated.

Ritwik Sarkar

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