Interstellar

by | Dec 2, 2014 | 0 comments

A Film Whose Immensity Is Too Much To Be Summed Up In this Review

 

How do I start a review for such a film? How will any combination of words live up to Nolan’s greatest creation yet?

Christopher Nolan’s new epic had really high aspirations, and frankly I thought that after David Fincher’s success with Gone Girl Nolan wouldn’t be able to stun audiences as much. How wrong I was.

Interstellar takes us into the future. But this is a future without any hovering cars or aliens; rather it is much like our world of today. There are still parent teacher conferences, dads take their kids to see baseball games, there is a large consumption of corn syrup products, and people still believe in the supernatural. The story follows a farmer called Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) who years back had been a spaceship pilot, but the world doesn’t need pilots, it needs farmers to grow food for the overpopulating world, where resources are running out. Anyways, I don’t want to say too much, but let’s just say that Cooper stumbles upon a secret space project that tells him he must commandeer a ship through space in order to find a new planet habitable for humans. Cooper is convinced to leave his family behind by Professor Brand (Michael Caine) and embark on such a journey with Brand’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway) and two other astronauts. The expedition will also be kept company by a robot named TARS (voiced by Bill Irwin), which one sees as a clear tribute to the monolith and talking robot HAL from Kubrick’s space epic 2001. Cooper has an especially strong relationship with his daughter Murph (played by Mackenzie Foy as a young girl and by Jessica Chastain as an adult), the scene when they must part is emotionally wrenching. Cooper will be forced to travel through a wormhole near Saturn; wormhole that was apparently placed there by… others. The science fiction film is gripping and extremely intriguing. However, if I had categorize the film was, I wouldn’t say it was a sci-fi film, rather a love story. What really captures you throughout the film is the father-daughter love. We see it with Cooper’s father in law (John Lithgow) and his late wife, we see it between Professor Brand and his Amelia, we see it with Cooper’s son, Tom (Casey Affleck as an adult) and his daughter Jessie, and we see it most clearly between Cooper and Murph.

This film might be more than most general audiences can handle due that many aspects and science of the film might seem ridiculous. That is why one must dust off their knowledge of black holes, wormholes, and theory of relativity in order to fully appreciate the scientific accuracy throughout the entire feature. Yes, the movie does attempt to explain some of the science behind the plot, but it is told in such brevity that one doesn’t have enough time to appreciate both the science and the story.

The film is an absolute visual spectacle; it would be a sin to not watch it in IMAX. If Gravity surprised you last year, Interstellar goes beyond that. The CGI-rendered wormholes and black holes are stunning. I was especially at awe with an enormous tidal wave, which left the whole audience shivering in fear. The cinematography was well was also masterful. The way that Nolan moved his camera around not only with the visual effects, but also physically, inside the ship and among the bobble headed astronauts, is absolutely stellar (pun intended). But if one scene was to be highlighted, it’s the cornfield chase scene. In the pursuit of a drone, Cooper drives his truck into an immense cornfield; I simply can’t seem to find a description for the scene, it just must be experienced.

Alright, alright, alright, we’ve finally come to the moment you’ve all been waiting for: talking about Matthew McConaughey. If McConaughey surprised you in Mud he stepped up even further in Dallas Buyers Club and completely shocked you as a scene-stealing chest thumper in The Wolf on Wall Street. He then jumped to challenge himself on TV and he further demolished the remaining critics he had in True Detective. But you would think that he would eventually peak. No sir this man has no limit. Interstellar has cemented McConaughey’s legend once and for all on the face of this earth. How could an actor express such desperation and emotions through the little opening of his bulky spacesuit? Yes Sandra Bullock did a similar feat in Gravity, but she didn’t make us cry, McConaughey did. Now Hathaway and Chastain both give very good performances as well, but their screen time is too little for them to be evaluated enough, but even so they don’t disappoint, and their mix with their costars is perfect.   

But there is one aspect that really lifted the film upon its shoulders, a factor that many critics chose ignore and in fact downgrade, but without it the epic would not have been such an emotional and dramatic success. I’m talking about the soundtrack. Hans Zimmer, more commonly known for his music from The Lion King, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight, etc., took a sharp turn with Interstellar. Zimmer is used to creating soft soundtracks that heavily rely on strings. He did somewhat step into the piano world with some of the Batman films, but he kept coming back to his violins in the challenging parts of the films. In Interstellar he fully transitions from soft and gentle to enormous and stunning. He morphs into a heavily percussioned and organ led composer. His options for his usually light sound were changed and he was forced to delve into an unknown territory, he, however, admirably and masterfully created a soundtrack that was unlike anything in recent decades. It melds perfectly with the unknown and uncharted space story. Zimmer furthers his legend and is reaching the toes and fame of the god-like Ennio Morricone and John Williams. But people complained that the music was too loud and that it drowned out some of the dialogue, and while I agree that it’s a shame to miss such wonderfully crafted dialogue, the music is enough. Nolan creates films for smart audiences: you know what the characters are saying, you don’t need to hear it word for word. The music itself is a guide that enlarges the importance and mood of the communication of characters.

Jonathan Nolan was the screenwriter for the film, he along with his brother are to credit for the amazing, mind-blowing, soul searching, tear jerking, and perfect film. I doubt anyone will see the end coming let alone understand it without re-watching it. The way that the Nolans delve into the yet unknown science is admirable and brave. This might just be one of the best films of the last decade; its heavenly construction is a delight for all human beings to experience. 

  • OVERALL MOVIE RATING 90% 90%

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Visual Effects

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Plot Twists

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Performances

What is your favorite plot twist? Let me know in the comments section.

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