“Do not go gentle into that good night.”
This line, originally the title of a poem by Dylan Thomas, is the mantra of director Christopher Nolan’s latest film Interstellar. The sci-fi opera is set in the not-so-distant future, amid an environmentally damaged planet Earth. The planet is ravaged similarly to the Dust Bowl of the mid-20th century, and the population reverts back to a form of agrarian society. Life is now just survival, and the next generation of Earth’s inhabitants is expected to suffer from the apocalyptic dust.
Before the dust settles, Cooper (played by Matthew McConaughey), a retired NASA pilot turned farmer, spends his days with his precocious 10-year-old daughter Murph, trying to figure out the recent gravitational phenomena occurring in her bedroom. This leads the pair to uncover the final remnants of NASA, a team led by Professor Brand (Michael Caine) with the mission of continuing the human race through finding a planet that’s safe for inhabitation. This mission comes in two plans: A) relocate Earth’s population, or if that fails, and B) leave Earth behind to spread life elsewhere. “We’re not meant to save the world,” Brand states. “We’re meant to leave it.”
Time is relative for these characters. Aging becomes as insignificant as the awe-inducing forces of nature that push the characters to limits beyond the physical realm. Every scene is meticulously crafted and often breathtaking. Interstellar plunges into dimensions unknown, exploring through space the human experience.