Lost in Space- Or, maybe Planet Earth…

Do not go gentle into that good night

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.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.            imagesDylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

 

 

The above Dylan Thoma poem, “Do not go Gentle into that Good Night” is the Poem that Dr. Brand (Caine) repeated numerous times in the Movie, “Interstellar.” In this epic display of filmmaking, Interstellar stands out as a signal of the times; the zeitgeist of the present, defining our shallow human frailties, as well as our strengths, in the face of possible and closely impending extinction of the human species, directly brought on by human reductionism and apathy toward an “expanding universe” (metaphorically speaking by the use of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity), and through which tool? Our “education” system: ingenius.

It is significant that it was Professor Brand who echoed the poem numerous times throughout the movie. He was the scientist of an earlier generation who believed in exploration, yet he could not truly believe it himself, nor could he fathom the authenticity of it, hence, his inablility to see beyond his stunted formula (you have to see the movie).

Dr. Brand did not only sabatoge himself, but he sabotaged his own seed; his daughter (Hathaway), who as an obedient child, carried on his passion to explore without passion (this really gets paradoxical). When she herself is faced with the possibility of her ill-pursuit, she then becomes her own person, not her father’s ideal of her.

In the same token was the son of the truly ardent explorer, Tom, whose father, Cooper (McConaughy) decided to leave  for space, never assessing the damage he would do to those most important: one’s children. So, like Professor Brand’s daughter, Cooper’s son was pruned and left to fight their way to their own identity and evolution. This is a remarkable movie, I promise you, but you will probably have to see it more than once, and for those of you who aren’t used to actually paying attention to talk and slow movement to set a story up, you may have to be patient with the beginning. This film is not for the shallow hearted, action-packed, stimulation addicts; you will have to wait for your share of the action and amazement.

I was enthralled with the movie while it was running its course. As we left the theater, I was excited and could not stop thinking of the many tropes (such as the poem) the words of mystical meanings (love transcending through space & time, and even death) and the many possible themes one can find in this work of art.

Later, as I thought about it, long after it was over and I was lying in bed, I was subtely disturbed. By the next day, I was depressed, and found myself thinking about Dylan Thomas’ poem, and the meaning of the poem, and how it was addressed, and how it signified various aspects in the film.

I thought about each of the characters, especially disturbed about Tom (Affleck), the son of Cooper (McConaughy). and his end as a complacent, and hollowed man, who accepted the status quo, and frankly was a good depiction of most of us today. It was sad because he had not the strength of his own, to buck the system; evidently, he needed parenting or support, or something! Not like his rebel sister. Instead, Tom, well….he just was too obedient to the conventional routine of the masses (like all those that just look for action in a movie, not a storyline).

By contrast, Murph (Chastain), Cooper’s daughter, she was an independent thinker, fueled by her own passion to know more and find out beyond what was being told to her by the status quo, which was represented by our education system. As an aside, I must admit I too, have long been disturbed by our education system anyway, and this just brought out the light upon its destructive measures. When Murph experinces the same trauma as her brother, Tom does, she reacts differently. She goes to search for how she can make sure her father makes good on his promise, whereas, Tom remains true to his aging grandfather, the farm, the status quo, and relinquishes any kind of dreams he may have had, if any at all.

Both Tom and Murph depicted a side of the human condition, and the effects that disturb or accentuate the balance within the psyche of each one of us.

As I said above, if you are not a thinking kind of person, you may be oblivious to what is going on. Go into the theater KNOWING you will have to work for your understanding. But if and when you do, you will take from it (hopefully) a new sense of direction in our lives. Okay, enough said, go see the movie, I’m going AGAIN!

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