Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Science-Ficton, Drama
Christopher Nolan, the director best know for The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and Inception (2010), enlightens our screens with the sci-fi, adventure Interstellar, which might arguably be one of the greatest cinematic experiences of the year; Interstellar.
Set in the near future Interstellar takes us to a darker time on earth in the near future. A blight has ruined the planets food supply, and caused a chain reaction of thick dust that effects the health of the remaining human beings. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) a retired pilot and engineer, careers no longer needed on earth due to the earths demand for farmers, Cooper focuses on farming corn and taking care of his two children, Tom (Timothee Chalamet) and his daughter Murph. (Mackenzie Foy). While Tom is prepared to become another farmer, Murph is inspired by her fathers previous career, and is passionate about space. Convinced she has seen a ghost in her room that knocks books from her shelves and leaves piles of dust, Cooper soon discovers a set of co-ordinates from the dust piles in her room that lead the pair to a secret area that is controlled by the remaining members of NASA. Professor Brand (Michael Caine) appears to be the last man in control at NASA and convinces Cooper he has identified a plan to save humanity. Despite Coopers children being at the centre of his life, Cooper is clearly torn between the idea of getting back into the pilot seat and potentially saving earth or remaining on earth safely with his children. Against Murphs wishes Cooper leaves her, his father, son and home, and begins his mission in space. Along with Professor Brands daughter, Amelia (Anne Hathaway), they have a journey ahead of them all they need to do is travel through a mysterious wormhole and explore potential planets to recolonise earth on.
McConaughey’s performance is perhaps the strongest element of the film, along with the films visuals. But McConaughey’s performances appear to be gaining in strength since his recent role in Dallas Buyers Club (2013). McConaughey’s performance is truly moving. After suggesting to his daughter that when he returns home, they may be the same age, of course Murph reaches Coopers age while he is still in space. After several years Cooper finally receives a video-message from Murph informing Cooper of her birthday, and that he has still yet to return. Needless to say, the scene is incredibly moving. Jessica Chastain who plays Murph at this age, brings an authentic sadness to which McConaughey responds.
Anne Hathaway’s delivers an average performance of a rather dry, dull character that isn’t completely dislikable, but certainly isn’t memorable. The existence of the character is bland, and the thought of a more romantic plot between Cooper and Brand as in Spielberg’s original screenplay makes me very thankful for Nolan’s plot changes.
In addition Matt Damon appears as Dr. Mann, an astronaut from a related mission, who landed on one of the potential planets that Cooper and Brand set out to investigate and collect data from. Damon’s character provides a shocking turn of events for the characters along with some tension that the plot needed.
Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar moves away from the score he created for Inception which has since been replicated in almost every-other film. Muffled and at times muted voices enhance the reality of the characters being in space. The choices made by Nolan will cause complaints, but were artistic choices that suit what the film is about. Unlike Gravity(2013), last years space adventure, the use of sound is intended to be as realistic as it can be without removing dialogue. Interstellar’s visuals are equally as impressive as those in Gravity. But to compare the two films would simply fail on the basics that the two films are both about space, and yet are exploring very different situations.
Interstellar is evidently a science-fiction that touches on gravity, time-shifts and the fifth dimension, but it is also an intense drama about a man who only wants the best possible future for his children. Grand in visuals, and ambitious in its story, Interstellar only falls short on scientific details, which really can’t be faulted on a large scale; after all it’s all just speculation anyway.
Nolan challenges space and overall delivers a satisfying space drama. The film is lengthy and has a slow start, but the film falls into place midway with the auteur characteristics that Nolan produces within all of his films.This may be the grandest film of Nolan’s but perhaps not the best. However every moment of the film is worthwhile of watching at least once or twice. Interstellar’s probably also worth seeing a second time in IMAX.