Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A Pinoy At The Movies: Interstellar


                          (The crowd at CGV Yongsan)

My favorite authors happened to be Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. I think I have read Carl Sagan's Cosmos a few times already over the years, and Hawking's Brief History of Time was just as enlightening. The science of our universe just fascinates me just like anyone who loves astronomy and those twinkle-twinkle little stars.

And came Interstellar.

With the news a few weeks back of Rosetta, as sent by the European Space Agency, landing on a comet, the astronomy world (pun intended!) was abuzz by human kind's latest achievement. The movie just came to Korea at the right space and time. And theater. Ha-ha-ha!

The word 'interstellar' is the space between stars, and this movie definitely showed me what it's like traveling through space between 'worlds' with all the slow aging and long sleep, just like in Charlize Theron's Prometheus. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and the Endurance crew aged slower than the earthlings they left behind. Sandra Bullock showed us last year how it was like to space-walk above the Earth in Gravity, but Interstellar even took it further up millions of light-years away. They didn't only space-walk; they walked on other planets! 

I was glad Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking educated me on space-time continuum, black holes, point of singularity, event horizon and black holes. Understanding the science of Interstellar for me while watching the movie was easy and fun as I sipped my jumbo-sized caramel milk tea from Gong-Cha, one pearl (or sago!) at a time. Ha-ha-ha!

There was never much to learn about the solar system during my grade school science subjects, except for the names of the planets and everything else that's up there, which collectively, my science teacher called...'heavenly bodies'. I don't know where my science teacher is now, but I do want to tell her that, these days, when you use the term 'heavenly bodies', you're usually referring to the human species of the female gender wearing glitter, a pair of wings and a few square inches of flimsy fabric at the Victoria's Secret fashion show. Ha-ha-ha!

Matthew McConaughey didn't exactly impress me as an astronaut, but as a father in the movie, he totally fit right in. Anne Hathaway, on the other hand, was a biologist who still had time for full make-up and smart haircut, while working underground in a super-secret NASA base, and that while the Earth was dying.

I didn't look up the whole cast before I went to see this movie. So, I was surprised to see one of my favorite actors, Jessica Chastain, showing up as the aged daughter of McConaughey. Chastain was nominated for an Academy Award her supporting role as the clueless Celia Foote in The Help, and for her lead role as an agent in Zero Dark Thirty.

Also a surprise, Matt Damon showed up as another astronaut from another space ship that explored another planet. Here, he was not a good guy like Jason Bourne and didn't have amnesia. He was a bad guy and was killed in space. 

I guess what makes Interstellar a hit is our own fascination about the cosmos. Surely, it's not because we all want to see the end of the human race. It's the fascination that was fed by the film with spectacular scenes of a man-made space ship traveling through the rings of Saturn, and with the complicated voyage through the black hole Gargantua, and those scenes of out-of-this-world landscapes of other planets that could hopefully be a new home to the human species.

Just like Life of Pi, this film should be watched in a theater and not on a TV screen. The movie is set in space, and the dark surroundings of a theater will help re-create the experience of what it's like up there.

If I have a chance to watch this film again, I would. But in the mean time, it's your turn to. Enjoy!   

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