I wrote earlier about my disappointment with a film I really wanted to love, Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. This video delves into the subtext of the film to an intriguing depth. I can't say it completely changed my opinion of the movie, but it certainly helped me appreciate some of the cultural parallels and metaphors that I didn't catch on first viewing.
There should be a word for when you desperately want to love something (or someone), but you just can't. Because whatever that verb is, I [verbed] the movie Interstellar pretty hard when I finally got around to watching it last night. It had so many things I'm comfortable loving: smart space adventure that eschews pew! pew! pew! laser battles, Christopher Nolan, a central question of what may be required for humanity to survive its childhood, Bill Irwin, an apparent desire to hew as closely as possible to scientific plausibility (with notable exceptions), a robot mostly animated by practical effects instead of CGI, and a loud soundtrack.
But, for the entire 3 hours, I just [verbed] it, and I'm still wondering why. You could probably run a master class examining how someone as talented as Nolan could fail to knock it out of the park. It just felt like the movie would have had its heart in the right place, if it had enough heart. It reminded me of watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which indulged in too many lingering shots of Ships In Spaaaaaace while forgetting that the heart of Trek was in its characters. Interstellar used the protagonist's desperate need to save his family as the go-to emotional thread, without ever really building relationships between the people who share the screen for most of the movie.
On the other hand, I would watch a full-length film in which TARS, still voiced by Bill Irwin, explored the galaxy and just talked to himself. Is there a reason that the robot was in many ways the most interesting character in the film? Does even Nolan believe it will be our technological children, not our biological ones, who one day leave us to roam the universe?