REVIEW: Interstellar (2014)

Poster for Interstellar

Warning, expect some spoilers from the film following the premise description – however, for the good of the film I’ll do my best to refrain myself from discussing important scenes in-depth. The film follows Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, a father of two, as he attempts to secure a future for his children, who are living where no person should. Earth is falling apart, and the future of humanity is in question. When Cooper’s daughter discovers something odd, a journey begins, as Cooper is thrown into something much bigger than him and his family – interstellar travel to save humanity. But Cooper’s daughter, Murphy, doesn’t agree with his decision to partake in the journey – and then the story truly begins.

This could sound like Michael Bay’s Armageddon, but thankfully this film is much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, the aforementioned film can be enjoyable – but the small plot points of films like Armageddon are processed much better here in Interstellar by the Nolans. The themes in this film revolve around family, and also the point in which you break away from that – and partake in your destiny. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway – and they’re all great in this film. So is Nolan. Nolan is a great director, and I really do love his films.

There are a lot of memorable scenes in this film, and for me – one of the most memorable scenes revolve around a message-in-a-bottle communication system. McConaughey is great in the scenes wherein he receives video from Earth. I love those scenes, but they are also very emotional – and this film really is, to be honest. This film, at its core, is about a simple man trying to save his children from doom – his mission is very personal, very much unlike the rest of his crewmembers, though.

The viewers should know what they’re getting into when watching this film though. I found that there were people expecting horror sci-fi going in; people expecting a lot of action – perhaps even aliens. Don’t. This is classic science fiction, heavy on science – theoritical to be precise. This is also, though, a space opera – and though it does a great job in building a relationship between a father and a daughter, I found that some relationships were not as strong as I’d like. Cooper’s son isn’t as developed as you’d hope, the relationship between the Brands is underdeveloped as well, and I wasn’t happy with the overall introduction of Professor Brand.

I loved the story though, but if one is unable to properly relax in the film – through suspension of disbelief – then I expect a less than stellar experience. It is of paramount importance that you watch this film in a movie theatre – I cannot stress this enough. Nolan’s films are beautiful, and this is not an exception – perhaps this is actually the prettiest of all his films. As a side-note, I might add that there is an interesting surprise actor in the film – don’t look at the credited cast on IMDb – I repeat, don’t look at the credited cast!

I question whether this film would be better received if Gravity didn’t come out last year – for some scenes aren’t as fantastical to me, as they were in the aforementioned 2013 film. Finally, I’d like to mention the final act – which is imperfect. The story becomes too clunky in the final act, and though I actually like a lot of the final act, I was told by other theatre attendees that they found it confusing. The biggest problem I have with this film – which is bound to be unfairly overanalyzed, seeing as it is created by Christopher Nolan – is the ending. I would’ve liked for this film to end 3, or perhaps even 10, minutes earlier – as the ending became too Hollywood for my liking.

Ending on a high-note, I’d like to add that the scenes involving Michael Caine have a lot of weight to them – and there’s an overall message in those scenes (retrod in the scenes involving the special surprise actor). A message created by poet Dylan Thomas – and it is absolutely breathtaking, and at times emotional. Perfect use of a perfect poem.

Overall Score: 8.8 out of 10. Though the film has a clunky final act, with too much Hollywood-sweetness added to it, this is a great example of a proper space opera, and it goes where few great theoretical-science fiction-films have gone before. Teaching us to not go gentle into that good night.

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