There are few directors in the world given complete freedom to create any project desired and Christopher Nolan is one of them. His projects have grown from Memento and The Prestige to the Batman trilogy and Inception, and Interstellar takes his work to another dimension… literally.
Films with the scope of Interstellar are not really made anymore and when they are, they arrive on our screens years apart – therefore this is a film to be cherished. It has the best group of filmmakers off-screen coupled with some of the best actors at the moment so it really can’t put a foot wrong. With each Nolan film comes a sense of excitement because his work provides a cinematic magnitude that is rare in a repetitive Hollywood.
Set in the near future, where Earth is ravaged by blight and no longer able to sustain humanity, a team of space travellers head through a wormhole near Saturn in order to find a appropriately inhabitable planet for the remainder of mankind. Scientific experts acted as consultants on the project, ensuring the representation of relativity and wormholes are as accurately embodied as they can be.
Interstellar is a true adventure film that has been influenced by sci-fi classics such as Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey but it feels original in everything intergalactic. Interstellar’s soul derives from the multiple genres the film incorporates. It has action, drama, comedy, and love and yet it never gets entangled in its abundance; it humbly captivates you with its transcendent beauty and sweeping intellect. To put it simply, Interstellar is perhaps the most exhilarating cinematic experience of times gone by that it will almost leave you in a trance at how spectacular the vision has come to fruition.
With imagery able to rival that of Gravity, Interstellar’s visual scope is majestically realistic even if it is a fabrication of the filmmakers’ imagination. Interstellar captures the magnificence of space effectively; the shot of the Endurance space shuttle silently drifting past Saturn’s golden rings is a sight to behold because it’s an actual place. Once the shuttle enters the wormhole, the emphasis on the imagery shifts from the blackness of space to the appearance of each planet they investigate. The grandeur of each planet is stressed and you go into the film expecting an out-of-this-world experience – Interstellar provides exactly that. If Interstellar doesn’t fulfil your aesthetic expectations, no film ever will!
With solid, dependable performances from a resiliently recognisable cast, all the actors are of the highest order; most have either won or been nominated for an Oscar and therefore you feel secure that these actors chosen to helm such a project will be able to pilot your enjoyment. Matthew McConaughey portrays Cooper, a widowed astronaut who agrees to leave his family and take on the mission to save mankind. McConaughey is reliable throughout as the calmly experienced astronaut or as the lovingly devoted father. Anne Hathaway is likewise emotionally powerful and the Oscar winner is convincing as the female lead and functions as a nice back-up to McConaughey. The rest of the cast, from Michael Caine to Jessica Chastain and Matt Damon, provide the film with a strong foundation. If the intellect exceeds the film’s grasp at times, the actors are there to fall back on, as they are effortlessly credible and certainly likeable.
“If the intellect exceeds the film’s grasp at times, the actors are there to fall back on”
Renowned composer Hans Zimmer just keeps delivering amazing scores and this is so hypnotically operatic it not only provides an equivalence to the scenery’s grandeur but also lures you into this new dimension to the point where you feel completely submerged in the interplanetary action.
The fact Interstellar arrives at just under 3 hours gives the filmmakers the time to express the scope of the film not only visually but also emotionally and narratively. A good part of 2 hours are spent exploring the vastness of space whilst the whole film challenges you intellectually to consider what may beyond the confines of Earth. Yet the film still has a heart, and is not just a technical exploration but an emotional rollercoaster for the characters undertaking the journey as they may never know if they will return to see their loved ones or even save humankind. Interstellar is also intense on your senses; your eyes fascinated and your ears submerged in the Interstellar experience.
It’s a rare film that is not restricted by any outside force and simply has the freedom to explore unexplored boundaries of the imagination. Only the greatest filmmakers can deliver a true family blockbuster with a gritty edge that also allows you to become engrossed on an intellectual and emotional level. It’s a film with layers and under each layer lays a dose of enthralling indulgence.
The only problem with Interstellar is that you can get lost in its complexity. The penetrating uproar and hypnotic sounds can overpower the dialogue and the important scientific information can be too much to digest on first screening. Interstellar deals with unexplored phenomena and wormholes and new galaxies, therefore the film needs to explain to us in a simple way, yet you can still get a bit bewildered by the event. Perhaps with the extra help of subtitles to enable you to concurrently read the script, Interstellar would be the perfect film.
Audacious, thrilling and transcendent in its vision, Interstellar is a moviemaking masterpiece that just falls heartbreakingly short of perfection.