Movie Review: Interstellar

Image Source: Wikipedia
Image Source: Wikipedia

Distributors: Paramount Pictures (US) and Warner Bros. Pictures (International)
Production Companies: Legendary Pictures, Syncopy and Lynda Obst Productions
Director: Christopher Nolan
Producers: Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Lynda Obst
Scriptwriters: Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Main Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn and Michael Caine
Released: November 5 2014 (US) and November 7 2014 (UK)
Running Time: 169 Minutes
Certificate: 12A

“Do not go gentle into that goodnight, old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light.” A sentence that encapsulates the entire movie of Interstellar and its themes.

To begin with, Interstellar is a science fiction film written and directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, 2008; Inception, 2010). This is Christopher Nolan’s first film since he completed his Dark Knight trilogy. Personally, I am a huge fan of Nolan’s work: I have enjoyed every single film Nolan has directed or written, from The Following to Insomnia to The Prestige, as well as all three Batman films. And then there’s the mind-blowing Inception which is an absolute must-see for anyone unfamiliar with the movie.

And so we come to his latest project, Interstellar. Prior to its release, there was been a lot of mystery surrounding this film, which I like: I personally love walking into the cinema and not knowing anything about the plot or the characters, which is exactly what happened when I went to see this movie for the first time. To show how much I enjoyed it, I have seen this film three times already (no mean feat for a movie lasting nearly three hours) and twice in IMAX which we will get onto a little later.

The casting in Interstellar is of a high standard, with actors such as the resurgent Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine and Matt Damon. For all the scientific elements and for all of its stunning production qualities, this is ultimately a film about love. But don’t confuse this with a romantic comedy; we’re talking about the love and connection between a father and his daughter, who builds up resentment towards her dad after losing touch, but never loses the love she has for him, nor does she 100% lose faith that someday they will be reunited.

There is a line spoken by Anne Hathaway’s character Amelia which is: “Love is the one thing that can transcend time and space”. And that is the true focus of this film. Yes, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) has a mission for NASA and is aiming to save the future of the human race, but his underlying mission is to get back home to see his daughter before it is too late. You feel this while watching the film; you feel that time is slipping away, which begins to affect certain decisions they are making whether for good or bad. Yet you feel every emotion that Cooper does; you the audience feel very attached to both father and daughter, because the exposition of the film is handled brilliantly by Nolan.

The opening of the film focuses on Earth’s plight and the struggles humanity is facing; the world is running out of food and needs to either find a new home or find a new way of creating food. Meanwhile, NASA have been working in secret to find a way to save the world, and their answer lies within a number of habitable planets outside of the galaxy, with the intention being to move everyone off Earth and to the new planet. However, they must find the right planet first, and that is a task assigned to Cooper and his team. They pilot the space craft through a worm hole put there by more intelligent beings from the future. While Cooper is in space, his son Tom and his daughter Murphy grow up but, given the circumstances by which Cooper had to leave his family, Murphy chooses not to speak to Cooper for over thirty years, due to how much it affected her that her father had to leave. That being said, she does want to help and she too realises that time is running out fast. Tom, on the other hand, is more at peace with the situation and becomes a farmer and a father of two children, one of them whom is dying at a young age. Only then does he become insecure and then resent his father for not being there. Both Murphy (Jessica Chastain) and Cooper are fighting against time and space to save the world but, more importantly, for them to see each other again.

What makes Christopher Nolan so unique is his ability to make the picture the forefront of his films. By this, I mean the visual image on-screen which is sometimes more important than the dialogue being spoken, at least from a production standpoint. He is a keen advocate of IMAX cameras; now, for those unfamiliar with the term, I went to see this film in IMAX, and I have to admit that I was blown away by the picture quality and the sound. It adds a completely new visual and audio experience to what is already a brilliant film. The special effects in this film must also get a mention because they are stunning. A lot of these effects were done in camera, and the entire spaceship was built on a motion set, so the actors knew what buttons to press and what they were working with. This really does give the film a more organic feeling that most of the time you will not get with a science fiction film.

Interstellar as a whole is very entertaining, interesting and educational. You really have to pay attention to the science being discussed on the screen as it becomes very important once the film reaches its conclusion (which, incidentally, I will not spoil, although the ending has been criticised by some). Personally, whilst I felt that its key messages could have been explained a little more clearly at the climax, I still found it a fitting way to end the movie. For me, Interstellar is as good as perfect in every aspect, which is why I have given it the highest rating possible and why I expect it to make an impact at the 2015 Oscars.

Overall Rating: 10/10 – Perfect