Interstellar (2014)

8 Nov

Interstellar marks acclaimed director Christopher Nolan‘s 9th feature film, and the first after his hotly anticipated conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy in 2012. Over the course of his career, Nolan has made a reputation for delivering intellectually puzzling blockbuster pictures and Interstellar might be his brainiest and most puzzling film yet.

The film stars Matthew McConaughey as Coop, a rural corn farmer and father of two children. Corn is one of the few crops that can be grown because sometime in the near future, a global dust storm wipes out nearly all forms of agriculture. Coop is an incredibly scientific man, quick to disregard his daughters complaints of a paranormal presence because it offers no scientific explanation. A strange series of events – some in connection with this “ghost” and others pure happenstance – enables Coop and his daughter Murphy to stumble across an opportunity for space exploration as a last result attempt to save the human race from extinction.

If that description sounds a bit loaded, thats because it is. And we haven’t even finished the first act yet. Things quickly go from a family drama to a graduate metaphysics theory to Gravity-esc space survival to alternate dimension weirdness to time loops and then back to a family drama again. Nolan tries cramming in all sorts of ideas and concepts into a hefty 169 min runtime. Quantum physics, gravity pulls, beings from another galaxy, time anomalies, human evolution, singularities – it’s enough to make your head spin. Thankfully we have Anne Hathaway‘s character Amelia (in a similar fashion to Ellen Page‘s character from Inception) providing exposition to guide us through the this tangled mess of wormholes, black holes and plot holes.

The main problem with Interstellar is that Nolan assumes his audience is smart enough to grasp complex concepts about the nature of time and space, but somehow stupid enough not see bad writing when it stares us in the face.

The script is pretty much passable, and at sometimes, just outright bad. Same goes for many of the film’s performances. Nolan has never been a great dramatic director, but he gets the job done here with the help of an ensemble cast including Casey Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, Michael Caine, Topher Grace, Ellen Burstyn and an actor I won’t mention for sake of surprise.

However, the flaws of Interstellar are relatively minor compared to its epic aspirations or its technical brilliance. Beautifully shot in 70mm, Interstellar looks amazing, and is sure to deliver on terms of sheer spectacle. There is some jaw-dropping scenes of space/time travel and the score by Hans Zimmer and incredible sound design make viewing the film a pleasurable and visceral journey.

While the film certainly is too ambitious for it’s own good, I would rather see a film take gargantuan risks and (slightly) fail than I would see a film play it safe. Especially when it comes to the epic budget and scope of a canvas that Nolan was given to work with here.

What it really comes down to is this: Christopher Nolan’s dreams are as big as those portrayed in Inception, and seeing his vision unfold in such a grand manner is a delight.

Rating 7/10

Similar to: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Prometheus (2012), Gravity (2013) 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Interstellar (2014)”

  1. Movie Masticator November 8, 2014 at 5:58 am #

    Interesting so see you feel it has problems enough to call them failures.

    I was a little more positive about the movie, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

    If you get a moment – Take a look at my review here http://bit.ly/1z4obO1

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Arrival (2016) | A Journey Through Cinema - November 16, 2016

    […] been termed “the science-conscious sci-fi film.” Following in the steps of films like Interstellar and The Martian , Arrival presents us with a problem that lands squarely on the shoulders of […]

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: