Unlike Christopher Nolan, I’ll make this fast.
It’s not the acting (which is actually quite brilliant on all counts) or the father-daughter love (which is super) or the gravity/quantum physics/time travel (none of which I really understand) that bother me. It’s that Interstellar is such a theological disaster.
My Facebook feed is popping with excitement as movie-watching friends spy the death and resurrection themes, and yep, I see them too. (Christopher Nolan, obligingly enough, keeps bringing up Lazarus in case we forget.) But these motifs are just hitching a ride on the back of bleak, evolutionistic crap.
Interstellar’s universe is completely closed; a hard, Darwinian fist. Nolan keeps cracking open the door to the idea of an Author, letting us peep through wonderingly, before at last slamming it in our faces. Whom should the heroes thank for putting that black hole in space? Um, no one. Or rather, that’s one question Nolan raises and never answers. The heroes just save themselves—quoting themselves silly on Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gently into That Good Night.” Christians may baptize the ambiguous poem for their own use as they choose, but it’s pounded to a pagan beat here, as if survival were somehow a noble undertaking in this godforsaken universe.
Evolution is the name of Interstellar’s game and there isn’t a noble bone in its body. Evolution is selfish and desperate; evolution is Dr. Mann. The whole point is shedding the exoskeleton of our doomed forefathers in order to become something better; who gives a fig for Lazarus? It marches blindly into a hopeless night, droning:
Lead us, Evolution, lead us
Up the future’s endless stair;
Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us.
For stagnation is despair:
Groping, guessing, yet progressing,
Lead us nobody knows where.
— C. S. Lewis (Read the rest.)
What Christopher Nolan has created is a black hole: vast and empty, lots of raging, little light. If you want to watch an infinitely better film about space that will leave you grateful and exhausted (in half the time), watch Gravity.