I sat down to write my review of Pride this morning, but seeings as how I'd just been listening to the soundtrack for Interstellar, that wasn't a very good idea. I was lost for words, looking at my computer screen with my mouth curved open and a blank look on my face. For a few weeks now I'd also been meaning to write an article on why you should see 2001: A Space Odyssey because it's one of my all time favourite films and also because I reviewed it a while back when I wasn't quite up to the standards of writing that I am now. So here I am, writing happily about one of my favourite films of all time and one of my favourite films of the year. I'll try my best not to delve into spoilers, but I think that may be a little hard to do when I get into some of the topics worth discussing. I'll make sure to warn you when that happens, but if you want to read my completely spoiler-free review then you can check it out here. Okay, let's begin.
I've seen Interstellar on the big screen twice now, although neither of these viewings was in IMAX as I haven't been to IMAX in many many years. I've seen 2001: A Space Odyssey god-knows how many times, and even once in cinemas earlier this year, which was honestly one of the best cinema experiences of my life. In my original review for Interstellar I stated that it was unfortunately not the next 2001. Now that I've seen it twice and had another week on top of that to think things through, I take that comment back. Honestly, Interstellar just may be the next 2001, but I'm probably going to have to see both of them a few more times to confirm.
Before you start yelling at me and calling me names, hear me out. I'm not saying the two are on par with each other or anything like that. Yet. I'm simply saying that Interstellar just may be this generation's 2001: A Space Odyssey. I believe that 2001 is a far superior film, but that doesn't mean Interstellar is bad. It's not. God, I gave it my second highest rating for goodness sake. But they are similar. Very similar, in fact. To begin with, Interstellar took a lot of inspiration from 2001 and that shows. There's certain homages to it in Interstellar, which a film buff like me nerded out to. They're one of the same.
While 2001 appears to be quieter than Interstellar, they're both pretty silent. For all those who've seen 2001, you'll know what I mean when I say that it's a very quiet movie. It has twenty minute periods of literally no dialogue, but that's what makes it so great. Both films have moments of dialogue that are cut off, except Interstellar's dialogue is more prophetic than 2001. 2001 is realistic, captivating and different. Interstellar falls under all those categories too. Interstellar may seem to be making things up as it goes, and I too thought that on first viewing, but for the most part it's not. I still think the ending defies all logic, but more on that later. Interstellar uses real theories and real scientific evidence as the building grounds for the plot. 2001 is the film that makes things up. Not constantly, but it does. They're both guilty of it, but at the same time they're both not.
Both films bring with them a memorable robot side-kick, of sorts. Granted, this is an odd point, but would I be lying? There's no denying that they both suspiciously have a likeable robot. Well, HAL was likeable until he becomes murderous and psychotic, but even then he's a damn awesome character. In Interstellar we have TARS, who is essentially a large chunk of metal with a humour setting at 75% and an honesty setting at 95%. This is a mild spoiler, but TARS stays good until the end, so that's a one-up on HAL, I guess.
Before I delve into my thoughts on the ending, I must point out the similarities in soundtracks. Both films are about exploration into space, and because of this neither film has much action. There's ape of ape (wow, that sounded dirty) fighting in 2001 and there's a fist fight in the middle of an ice planet in Interstellar, but neither films are action heavy. Because of this similarity, the soundtracks aren't fast or dub-stepy. It's slow, uplifting and helps to create a sense of awe. I've listened to both soundtracks separate to the film and I can personally vouch for this, they're very similar.
Now, the ending. Of course, this is where I'll be forced to head down spoiler territory, just like I predicted way back when. If you haven't seen either Interstellar or 2001 then you're going to have to, and not just so you can join in with this debate. They're both essential viewings in my eyes and they're both utter mindf**ks. Yep, both third acts just completely muddle with your mind, although more so for 2001. Interstellar's ending reveals that Cooper was Murph's ghost and that he was also the one who planted the wormhole for the people of Earth to explore. I initially deemed it stupid, but after considerable thought I actually really like it. Sure, it's illogical, but so is 2001's ending. Unlike Interstellar, 2001 doesn't explain its ending to you. You just sit and watch like it's nobody's business. We see our hero, Dave, floating away through a bunch of changeable colours, followed by him waking up in a room, eating some food, finding an older version of himself and then turning into a giant baby. Trust me, it's better than it sounds. Both Interstellar and 2001 leave you with something to think about. Plus they're both amazing pieces of cinema that deserve to be seen on the big screen. Technologically, they're similar as well. So yes, I do think that Interstellar is the next 2001: A Space Odyssey. Happy? I am.