Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
This quote represents a major theme in the movie Interstellar. Beyond the color pallette that reminds me of color footage from the Apollo missions, or Hans Zimmer's enveloping soundtrack that echoes 2001: A Space Odyssey, the above quote (attributed to Dylan Thomas) is what really resonated with me.
That's a stubborn optimism you don't often see in popular science fiction movies on the big screen. It's the kind of optimism that draws me to Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's a movie about humans, about mere humans resolutely facing seemingly impossible odds. A thoroughly invigorating emotion.
What I took away from the movie was a feeling of light hearted happiness. It's so refreshing to see an optimistic vision of the future, where the "mysterious others" are really just us, pulling ourselves out of trouble. It's not the trippy experience of 2001 with its reliance on benevolent and powerful others, it's an affirmation of our ability to fix our own problems.
One type of reaction I've noticed is people picking apart plot problems, but I want to caution against writing off a really good experience. The movies asks for a much smaller premise than is usual! It's hard to get science fiction right. Even a crappy movie takes incredible effort to produce and struggles to make it to screen. But here, you have a decent science fiction movie. It's a good thing! We should celebrate it! Our reaction to an honest effort to stick closer to science should be positive!
And it led to some new physics too. I think that alone deserves some recognition. Also, I'm definitely going to check out Kip Thorne's book.
Here's to Interstellar!