This is something I wrote long back, it is my first reaction after watching the film Interstellar. I have never been a fan of sci-fi films, unless they tell extraordinary stories not of science and space but of humans. At the same time, I don’t like human stories which we have heard many times before. In that, Interstellar just didn’t tell a great story. I am acutely aware how much critical recognition the film got, and how much people have loved it. I almost feel guilty of not being able to share the popular sentiment, but I just felt so bored and disappointed with it. So here it goes, my first reaction to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. I have not seen the film for second time and this is not a proper review.
I finally saw Interstellar and, wait for it, I found it boring and clichéd.
In fact I struggled to sit through it. And I am saying it not as a feminist. Even if I don’t put on my feminist glasses, I still think it is highly overrated. My theory is nobody got what’s so great about the film yet everybody saying great things just because it’s a Christopher Nolan film with Oscar winning actors and all. I read up many of the 10/10 rated reviews on IMDB, most people can’t articulate what is so great about it.
Except for the visual effects, which has now become part of every other Hollywood film, what was in it? Besides the fact that it has no real story or thoughts or emotions that I could relate to or feel, I couldn’t stand the stereotypes and cliched symbolism.
I mean few centuries have passed since 21st century but the image of women has not changed.
She may be a NASA scientists but she is still hyper emotional getting crazy in the middle of her work and getting herself in trouble and needs to be saved, by Alpha male robots at that. What to talk of symbolism, she is picked up by the robot in exactly the same manner Disney’s damsels in distress are being picked up for past thousands of centuries. Centuries later, women are still talking highly of the power of ‘love’ and men are still being dismissive and objective. She is still exploring father-daughter relationships – the masculine feminine binaries and heteronormativity. The saviour of the mankind is still a white heterosexual man and the black man is a token gesture. Every time I heard the words ‘Daddy would save us’ I cringed, and it was said a lot of times.
With massive shift in space and time, changes happen in our culture too. But centuries from now, with a 5th dimension added to our existence, America would still be playing base ball (even in space) and drinking beer. That is all they could imagine. And hilariously the film ends with Biblical symbolism of Adam and Eve inhabiting a new planet and giving birth to a new humankind.
I found it pretentious, and consisting of same old trappings of any other Hollywood drama. I guess I was expecting much more than just visual effects, I was expecting more meaningful substance in terms of imagination of a world that is so beyond our perception. When you sit down to imagine time and space thousands of years from now, you would probably imagine everything differently, human behaviour, relationships, culture, society…everything. For me its not enough to simply imagine 5th dimensions, wormholes and tangible time boxes.