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Oliver’s Twist: Interstellar

Interstellar is a 2014 sci-fi about a future planet Earth, on which the human race is beginning to suffocate from dust pollution and is running dangerously low on food. A team of scientists must fly through a wormhole in space in order to discover whether various newfound planets are suitable to sustain the future of humanity.

The film stars Matthew McConaughey as Cooper, the former NASA pilot who is picked to fly the spacecraft through this wormhole. Now, according to my brother, I can’t possibly have not heard of Matthew McConaughey, but I hadn’t until I watched the film. Similarly, my parents thought that a film with Matthew McConaughey in was bound to be good. Perhaps they enjoyed Magic Mike and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Other actually noteworthy appearances included Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty). McConaughey wasn’t bad; he just wasn’t special.

The film, however, was actually very good. In the way that we are strangely interested in what we are scared of, a film about the unfathomable depths of space certainly interested me. The explorers come across some of the true horrors of nature: a planet near a black hole, on which spending one hour was the equivalent of seven years on earth. Not to mention the enormous tidal waves that sweep away one of their crew. On the other hand, the team also comes across some of the true wonders of nature: ‘fancy finding Matt Damon in space,’ says Mum. ‘Perhaps they’ll find Daniel Craig next.’ Damon actually ends up playing (small spoiler alert) a rather unsavoury character; perhaps to remind us that we are supposed to be rooting for McConaughey, and not just Hathaway.

There is no doubt that parts of the film allude to 2001: A Space Odyssey. When Cooper enters the black hole, the epitome of the unknown void, there are some very much Space Odyssey-like cinematic effects. The director actually gets very close to throwing the momentum away and delivering a mediocre ending to the film after this instance; but it does manage to pull through. The film ends with a sort of ‘a few days later’ type of scenario, the type in which we tend to see everyone looking happy-clappy and the main characters saying some jarring, clichéd phrases before the credits. But Nolan (director) leaves room for ambiguity and afterthought, as well as a sequel, as we see Anne Hathaway, poor woman, sitting on a newfound planet and waiting to be rescued.

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