Interstellar (2014) – Film Review

Interstellar film reviewInterstellar

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Matt Damon

Directed by Christopher Nolan, written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan

IMDB Rating: 8.8

Based on a future where the human race is at risk of dying of starvation, a wormhole is discovered at the outskirts of the solar system which allows interstellar travel. Cooper (McConaughey), an ex-engineer who stumbles across the secret remains of NASA is tasked by Professor Brand (Caine) to lead a team of explorers through the wormhole to check on the remains of a previous expedition, Lazarus, which may have discovered worlds habitable for humans.

But that is only half the story. It will come as no surprise that this is a complex and sometimes confusing storyline. It’s also worth saying that I’m not completely head-over-heels for Christopher Nolan like seemingly everybody else is right now. Just because he creates complex and non-linear stories doesn’t mean he’s a great writer – it takes a genius to explain something confusing, simply. This is a film that does twist and turn, and in line with the running theme of time and relativity, has an ending that lines up with many different points in the film. The idea of bending time is very interesting, and more importantly very entertaining to watch play out. All in all this is yet another intriguing story by Jonathan and Cristopher Nolan.

The acting in this film is solid, led by a good performance by Matthew McConaughey. He may not exactly look like your stereotypical farmer, but he certainly sounds like one and while the voice can get annoying (especially at the beginning) it is accurate, and very effective in later, more emotional scenes. There is also a really good performance by Jessica Chastain, who plays Coopers daughter Murphy, once she is grown up. Again she is a very emotive person, but while being very professional there is a childlike trait in her performance, which links back perfectly to her younger self (played by Mackenzie Foy). You never forget that she is just an older version of the kid before, and that’s not as easy as it sounds.

As you would expect, the directing by Nolan is sharp and crisp, with stunning visuals. I must say that I watched this at home and not in a cinema – I heard one of my favourite professional film critics this week talking about how some of the visuals, a big part of Interstellar, might be lost when taking the film from cinema to home viewing. However, even at home you get a sense of the sheer size of it all, and in my experience the visuals are never that different these days from cinema to TV. Portraying the idea of inter-dimensional travel was never going to be an easy sell, but I think Nolan has put his own artistic spin on the visuals and they are beautiful to watch unfold. Interstellar won an Oscar for their visual effects, primarily created by Double Negative, and I can’t think of any film that has ever done something visually quite as good as this.

I also want to praise the excellent work, yet again, by Hans Zimmer – the composer of this film and many other before it. My favourite composer in cinema.

Read our review of Nolan’s Inception here.

I watched this with my whole family as I’m back home for Easter. My dad, who loves watching films but has no idea who Cristopher Nolan is and has never seen any of his films, said he HATED Interstellar. He said that the story was stupidly complicated, and that the ending was ‘ridiculous’. Personally I liked how the film linked the beginning and the end together, like a circular story, but I agree that Nolan might have made this too complicated. People will say it was great because they’re proud they could keep up with it – we all kept up with it, and we all thought it didn’t need to be like that. At the end of the day, while this probably won’t last as long in the memory as some of Nolan’s other films, this is still another film of gargantuan proportions that he can be proud of.

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