‘Science Fiction’ might be written-off by realists as a mere figment, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Disregarding its namesake that has the word ‘Fiction’, Sci-Fi isn’t purely unrealistic.
No we’re not talking about human time travel, lightsabers or physical teleportation to far-off locations. We’re talking about magical looking phenomena in various works of science fiction that are possible according to science, if those conditions could be recreated.
Hollywood might be responsible for cooking up tons of unconvincing gadgets, events and technologies. However, there are also plenty of Sci-Fi flicks that use real-time science easily explained by Einstein or Newton. You might have already seen several scientifically accurate movies, but here are some off-beat flicks that respect science in the best way possible.
The Martian (2015)
You knew this was coming, as not only this is considered to be the most scientifically accurate, but most technology and events in the movie are fully probable. In fact, the movie might be one of the best space travel experiences for us non-astronauts. Directed by Ridley Scott, this Matt Damon led blockbuster shows a highly realistic take on survival in outer space.
The plot centers around Matt Damon, who is accidentally left stranded on Mars for nearly a year before a rescue team can get him back to earth. The protagonist survives in an inflatable habitat (real-time technology), grows vegetables using human excreta as manure on Martian soil (also possible). But the best use of real-time physics is the portrayal of Gravity-assist, when the rescue spaceship uses earth’s gravity to launch towards Mars. This is a real time technology that is used to launch various craft in outer space.
The Man from Earth (2007)
This movie is too big to be contained in the science fiction genre. Its highly immersive plot and narrative would not only make you question your beliefs, but also your very concept of existence. But if you’re looking for a George Lucas -esque space opera, The Man from Earth isn’t your average sci-fi flick but is explained as ‘intellectual sci-fi’ by critics.
It revolves around the character John Oldman (played by David Lee Smith), who reveals to his highly-educated colleagues that he is actually a 14,000-year-old Cro-Magnon who doesn’t age. What makes the plot more gripping is that he actually has convincing evidence that whatever he’s saying is the truth. Most of the scenes take place inside a room where John Oldman is throwing a farewell party to his colleague, before leaving town. The Man from Earth might not be visually stunning as one would expect from a sci-fi movie, but is a rather emotional journey where you are forced to dwell upon alternate theories about our history and religion.
The Fountain (2006)
If you’ve seen the movie, there might be some of you who might think of it as a joke. But The Fountain shows a highly poetic, yet realistic take on the existence of life. The movie plays with various themes from sci-fi, fantasy and romance in a heartwarming culmination of visuals and narrative. Coupled with the engrossingly tragic storyline, the movie is guaranteed to leave you with a heavy heart full of questions.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan), The Fountain involves three non-linear stories separated by time, which are somehow connected to each other. All three narratives feature Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz in different roles, but end up with the same fate creating a viciously heartwarming circle. The movie is both visually stunning and emotive with the best on-screen representation of what happens when a star dies.
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004)
This movie takes the term ‘moving on’ to a whole new level. Most of you might dismiss it as a romantic drama with a lot of teary-eye moments. But in essence Eternal Sunshine… actually talks about some deep science that is as realistic as your computer screen. We’re certainly not going to focus on whether the sad memories of your ex-girlfriend can be erased or not, but the very concept of erasing specific parts of your memory is actually a thing.
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind centers around a couple (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) who have fallen apart and have undergone a scientific procedure that erased their memories of each other. Apart from the heart-shattering story, the portrayal of selective memory is pretty accurate. Selective memory is a real-time phenomenon that is an after-effect of post-traumatic stress. However, its real time application is still in development. But just like the movie, there’s always hope for new things.
It is hard to find scientifically accurate works of science fiction and even harder to find any off-beat titles. The above might not be an all-inclusive list, but is guaranteed to contain huge number of accurate scientific facts and events. If you think there are any more movies likes these, please don’t forget to mention in the comments section.