Christopher Nolan’s visually beautiful, mystical and terrifying interpretation of space, ‘Interstellar’ tells the story of astronauts race to the other end of the galaxy and through a wormhole in search of a new habitable planet for a human race dying out and against the clock. The story is intense, the film is astonishing and visuals are impressive, as well as the film’s scary scientific accuracy.
Christopher Nolan directs and writes, alongside brother Jonathan, this epic affair. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a former NASA pilot and widowed father, who looks after his 10 year old daughter Murphy (a brilliant Mackenzie Foy), teenage son Tom and lives with his father-in-law Donald (John Lithgow) in a future world where Earth is failing. His curiosity leads him to a secret NASA installation lead by Professor Brand (Michael Caine). After explaining that twelve astronauts were sent on ‘Lazarus’ missions through a wormhole to find potential habitable planets, they recruit Cooper to join their team, including Brand’s own daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), to try and fulfil their task of reaching the only three potential choices of these planets and re-homing the human race.
Seems complicated right? Well it’s really not, meaning if I can understand it, you can! For me, the concept was simple, because it’s something I think about occasionally; the human race will have to be re-homed in the future to come. For me, the story is realistic and obvious. And scary too. At the end of the day, humans chosen for this task such as Cooper and Amelia are not machines, they have emotional attachments like love and family. Cooper is driven by trying to save and see his family again. As much as you want to save everyone else, selfishness and survival instinct can take over. One man’s act of cowardice or bravery can mean the difference- in this case the survival of the human race and Nolan often reminds you of this.
The first two thirds of the film are truly magnificent and are so visually stunning to the point you want to cry! Moments to look out for are the movie’s interpretation of a black hole, the scariness of space time relativity and gigantic waves. Nolan has created a work of art as well as something incredibly character driven and with a clever plot, that builds tension, drama and grips you to the edge of your seat, something that I felt ‘Gravity’ lacked. Something else ‘Gravity’ lacked is an amazing soundtrack! The music is magical, loud and mystical, which is a pure interpretation of space and often reminded me of Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells.’ At points the soundtrack is ear-splitting and overpowering that it dominates moments, often making unimportant dialogue inaudible. But I felt this added to the atmosphere and realism particularly at moments of utter peril, chaos and stress.
The final third matches the start but reveals two twists in the story, that of course every Nolan film must have and complete with conviction. The first development, involving a character named Mann (you could interpret the name as important and ironic here), is smart and shocking like a twist should be. Similar to ‘Moon’, the twist is surprising and creates a problem, that could give the film a morose and unsatisfactory ending. The second twist, tying up loose ends and answers any questions you have, creates the ending. For me, I found it a little silly and disappointing, but then you have to respect the fact it is emotional, links well with the start and almost feel good.
Matthew McConaughey is superb and Anne Hathaway is on par with him and matches his performance, so joining this with the visuals and sound makes ‘Interstellar’ a thrilling watch! Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy, Wes Bentley and Casey Affleck prove to be a formidable supporting cast. Also a massive shout out to the awesome robots Tars and Case too.
Let us hope in the future years to come, when our planet confronts this problem, the chosen intelligent few to complete this mission are as brave as the characters in this film. But these are actors and a screenplay and a camera, what is to come has to be acted for real.
‘Interstellar’ is in cinemas now.