This is the honest review of the 2014 film Interstellar
Information: 12 cert, 168 min. Dir Christopher Nolan; starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck and Ellen Burstyn.
Director Christopher Nolan gave us this interesting and visually stunning film Interstellar back in 2014. Without any doubt, a film release by Nolan will always grab attention, as like him or loathe him it will provoke. At his best he is amazing, at his less than best he can be a little confusing and pretentious. Nolan’s canvas is huge, and the scope of his films can some time leave the viewer a little bewildered. The vastness of his worlds can be difficult to take in and the detail of both the visuals and the quality of the narrative can be difficult to grasp.
Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey as the leader of a team of astronauts looking for a new home for humanity. If you start to have flashbacks to 2001 and the see the many similarities to Kubrick’s masterpiece then you are not mistaken. This film has an unmistakable edge and mood that is enhanced by the soundtrack and the visuals that give you the feeling of being in another universe.
Earth is in the middle of a devastating disease which destroys crops and has led to famine and pestilence ruling the earth. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is the films hero of sorts but his intentions and motivations are difficult to define or pin down. Is he doing all this for a sense of adventure, to save humanity or to save his daughter? The appearance of a wormhole near Saturn starts to make Cooper believe that maybe humanity is meant to leave the earth after all.
Like 2001, this film has a curious relationship with time and its relevance. It can be confusing and while being quite ominous the pace of the film can lag at different times throughout the film. A scene where Cooper watches 20 years of activity flash by, including significant points in his daughter’s life, is mesmerizing. Indeed, the passing of time is the real theme of this film and the effect it has on the humans affected by it.
One aspect of this film is the amount of exposition which is released throughout the film. Hathaway and McConaughey spend eternities describing what’s happening and this can be a little taxing at times. The need for this amount of dialogue is off putting, but then so is the complexity of the story. Maybe the film could have found some other way to transmit this to the audience.
The look of this film, the use of lighting and the strange appearance of these new worlds really creates an intriguing atmosphere and gives this movie a special appeal. For example, the astronauts visit the planet of water which has a heavier gravity than Earth provide breath-taking visuals. The sheer majesty of the backdrops is spectacular and create a mood of alien beauty and mystery unrivalled by most sci-fi movies of this millennium. The vast movement of the tidal surges show the special effects at there very best and elevate the film even more.
The cast deliver some impressive performances, notably Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and McKenzie Foy as young Murph. A special mention goes out to Bill Irwin, who’s voice is used for the onboard robot TARS. It must be said that McConaughey is not always everyone’s favourite actor. In this film, however, he delivers a very intense and measured performance. There are some subtleties in his relationship with daughter Murph which help set the emotional level of the movie correctly.
I recommend watching this film, if for nothing other than viewing the worlds the astronauts discover. The haunting soundtrack and the sheer size and scope of the movie are fascinating. Nolan’s direction allows the viewer to escape to the fantasy land of their dreams and despite several flaws and contradictions, this film is a must see. The theme of this film appears to be the value of time and the appreciation of the same. Human beings tend to take day’s passing by for granted, but the key to life is to enjoy every single moment as if it’s your last. Although the 168 minutes are a stretch, you won’t feel like they have been a waste.