Interstellar – a short and (hopefully) “painless” review

interstellar_new_poster

I finally pulled myself out of the office chair (and/or the house couch) and went to the cinema to watch a movie. Since it was at the tail-end of its run in most cinemas in my city, I went off to watch Interstellar. Perhaps I’ll go watch Hunger Games and/or the Penguins next time.

Anyhow, Interstellar. It was ok. Not great or grand, just ok, not a waste of money or time. I do found it entertaining enough and thought provoking enough. However, it was quite obvious that the storyline of the entire movie was not for “dummies”… you needed a background in physics, at least an understanding of space-time continuum or relativity. But that’s maybe less than 10% of the movie-going population. After the movie, I could hear people around the cinema telling each other that they did not understand much of what happened — honestly that could totally spoil the beauty of the film.

I saw the beauty of the film (thanks to my physics background in high school and college, and my natural science geek sense), including the black holes, space travel, relativity of time, and the prospect of finding another human-habitable environment in the universe. However, I was not quite happy with the events leading to the conclusion of the story. Suddenly everything seemed too absurd, too “fantastic”, too “magical” for a movie that had a storyline mostly based on science. What the heck happened after he fell into the black hole? It’s supposed to be a gravitational singularity, a “a one-dimensional point which contains infinite mass in an infinitely small space, where gravity become infinite and space-time curves infinitely, and where the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate”. And I quote:

“Current theory suggests that, as an object falls into a black hole and approaches the singularity at the centre, it will become stretched out or “spaghettified” due to the increasing differential in gravitational attraction on different parts of it, before presumably losing dimensionality completely and disappearing irrevocably into the singularity. An observer watching from a safe distance outside, though, would have a different view of the event. According to relativity theory, they would see the object moving slower and slower as it approaches the black hole until it comes to a complete halt at the event horizon, never actually falling into the black hole.” (http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/topics_blackholes_singularities.html)

The movie showed a pretty odd interpretation of what lies behind the event horizon, what’s in the singularity. It’s taking me so much time thinking of how I could describe it in words, but perhaps I should not even attempt. I do understand what they were hinting at, and maybe it is ok if just taken in an overly-simplified way. But what they communicated may create so many implications. I will not even start.

Over-all, the movie did appeal to the science geek in me. I would recommend it to anyone who knows who Albert Einstein is and understands at the very least the concept of space-time continuum and general relativity.

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2 thoughts on “Interstellar – a short and (hopefully) “painless” review

  1. It was soooo long 🙂 but as a sci fi freak myself I truly enjoyed. I love your review as it gives more clarity for what I saw. I have always been fascinated by the prospect of space and time travel 🙂

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