Cert: 12A Runtime: 169 mins Director: Christopher Nolan Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, David Gyasi, Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, Matt Damon and John Lithgow
We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt
Interstellar is one of the most anticipated films this year, Christopher Nolan begins his post Dark Knight career. Originally a Stephen Spielberg movie, Nolan only took over the job back in 2012 as his brother and co-script writer brother Jonathan Nolan was on board prior. This is a high pressure film for Nolan as it needs to succeed after his great form as of late with films like the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception and The Prestige. People have been claiming that this will be Nolan’s masterpiece, and cement him as the 21st century Kubrick. The Kubrick claim is rather over the top, Nolan needs to work on various genres of film before anyone can claim this. He is one of the best working filmmakers in the industry today, but he still has a lot of miles to cover yet. Like all my reviews this is SPOILER FREE ! So here is the skeleton plot of Interstellar; Single father Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a highly trained pilot. But his skills are redundant in a future world that seems to be turning into a hostile dust bowl. Then a scientist (Michael Caine) persuades him that it is time for mankind to look to the stars for salvation. His idea is to make use of a recently discovered wormhole in space to find habitable planets. But to take part in this risky, pioneering mission, Cooper will have to leave his two young children behind.
Let’s begin by saying this isn’t Nolan’s masterpiece, it had potential but it does fall short. But I still enjoyed this film! This is a stellar cast ensemble. the standout by far is McConaughey. He plays his character Cooper with incredible depth and that helped a lot to make us care about what he’s going through for his daughter. Add all the visuals in the universe, but it won’t make a difference if the lead was not strong. So safe to say the McConaughaissance is still going strong. The father-daughter relationship is the emotional core, and they share some scenes together that hit you right in the soft spot of your heart. A large lump came p to my throat during one scene, tears did not come out of my face luckily.Mackenzie Foy who played the young Murph, was a revelation her and McConaghey had great chemistry. She was out acting him during the first third of the film. One of my main surprises was TARS the robot, he gave the film much needed comic relief voiced by Bill Irwin. It’s always strange to see some humor from a Nolan film, but it worked. The design was strange but it works. Jessica Chastain also gave a power house performance as Murph, not the biggest Chastain fan but she made her character believable. My main casting issue was Anne Hathaway as Brand, I really didn’t connect with her. She was badly written in my opinion, Hathaway didn’t even seem to try and give her life. It was just rather dull, Sandra Bullock and Sigourney Weaver are still the queens of space I am afraid. The supporting cast was good but not great, always nice to see Lithgow but yet again a very weakly developed character. Casey Affleck was just himself with a beard. Even though Interstellar was a sci-fi film, it’s core center was the love of a father and daughter. This what makes it rather different to other space based films, love is it’s theme. This is why I believe the supporting cast are so under developed.
My problems with the movie has to do with the story. Before I explain further I have to be clear about this, I actually really like the story. Nolan is meticulous with Interstellar, the amount of attention given to the effect of scientific theories on the structure of the story is impressive. This reminds me to caution you about the scientific expositions given in the movie. All you need to know is how gravity can affect time (general relativity), this is briefly explained so pay attention to that fact to understand what’s going on. You don’t need to be theoretical physicist to understand. Ultimately this brings me to my negative point, while the movie excels at explaining the difficult but accepted scientific theories, it fails when showcasing the currently intangible areas of science. It forces the filmmaker to make artistic decisions on certain things that may come off too strange for the audience to accept. These scenes were really distracting for me, and I think it was for others as well because I’d hear giggles for something that was supposed to be taken seriously. Sorry for the vagueness, but I don’t want to give away any plot points. Another issue was Hans Zimmer’s score, allegedly he didn’t see the script so he had creative freedom to compose.During many sequences it helped elevate the dramatic tension and enhance emotional character scenes. Sometimes it just felt the music should of been in something else.The organ music was spin tingling, it was very different to what we have had before from him. My last issue is the ending, there is a particular scene prior to the last ten minutes where the film should of ended then and there. Nolan makes suspenseful endings, this wasn’t one in theory. In my mind I did edit the ending out.
Now I will role out the positives again.Visually Interstellar is flawless. A dying dust-choked planet Earth in the near future is depicted in a somewhat familiar yet eerily unsettling landscape. A single spacecraft is seen as a gleaming spark against Saturn’s ring. Bright flashes alternate with pitch darkness as the same spacecraft enters a wormhole to emerge in a different galaxy. Each planet we explore in this brand new world is a sight to marvel in itself. You are sucked into this world from the opening to it’s ending, you want the mission to succeed, you want Cooper and Murph reunited, you want everything to be a happy ending.Emotion is the biggest thrill ride of Interstellar. Nolan did a great job with Interstellar, bar the plot and character issues. He created a unique film, with a three hour run time. It flew by for me, but this film isn’t going to be for everyone.The major constituent behind this masterstroke’s brilliance is the film’s director, Christopher Nolan. To direct a movie with such a complex theme requires a huge pile of dedicated efforts and Nolan and team have certainly managed to hit the spot. It would of been interesting to see what he could of made with more time. Now he needs to leave his comfort zone leave Zimmer and Jonathan Nolan, try something different.The mixed reviews shouldn’t detain anyone from watching this. It is visually breathtaking and you do question yourself and the human race.