Interstellar is a movie written and directed by Christopher Nolan with help for the screenplay from Jonathon Nolan. It was first released on November 4th in London, and instantly, reviews began to pour in; some good, some not so good. As always, movies will never have a consensus with 100% saying it's brilliant, save for Jaws and The Shawshank Redemption, so it's completely expected.
Interstellar is set in the future, on Earth. Something has happened, and it becomes clear that the planet is slowly dying. Crops are no longer growing, dust-storms are a common occurrence and any talk of NASA, The Apollo Landing and Space are deemed out-dated and untrue. Our protagonist, Cooper, played by Mathew Mcconaughey, is/was an astronaut who had previously failed a mission. Stumbling upon a 'sign' he figures out to be co-ordinates, he travels to the location with his daughter, but ends up getting holed by a group of scientists who have come across a worm-hole that can send them to a different universe, in hopes of finding a survivable planet to inhabit.
Starring Mathew Mcconaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine, you can definitely expect the acting to be A* quality, and truth be told, it is. Mathew Mcconaughey has always been an exceptionally skilled actor, and Jessica Chastain proved her ability to perform multiple characters with different personalities by appearing in movies such as Mama, The Help and Zero Dark Thirty. In one, she plays a sweet, curvy southern bell, one a punk-rocker that has to take on the duties of a motherly figure, and the other an FBI agent hunting down the worlds' largest terrorist leader. She is truly diverse, and her natural adept to present emotions through facial expressions and the tone of her voice is something not many actors/actresses are able to do.
Similarly, Anne Hathaway played her role to what I thought was the best of her current acting ability. I almost didn't recognize that she was Mia from the Princess Diaries. Almost.
The one thing Christopher Nolan can do extremely well are action scenes and those with immense amounts of imagery and special effects. We've seen him do it with Inception, we've seen him do it with the Dark Knight Trilogy, and Interstellar is no different. The scenic view on an IMAX screen is something you simply cannot get over. I was absolutely flabbergasted at the special effects of the Worm Holes and the worlds they visited. In one scene, they were passing Saturn, and I got a bit... ahem, emotional. I think it's simply outstanding that we're able to generate black-holes and planets, and nebulae with special effects. Remember Alien 3? You thank technology that none of us have to settle with that type of horrendous CGI anymore. Back on course. Now, I really hope we develop something parallel in the future, because in Interstellar, Nolan included robots that responded to questions and remarks in a very humanistic manner. They were made out of columns of titanium with a command prompt on their fronts, and given simple names such as Tars, Case and Kipp. They added some light-hearted humor to an overall serious movie.
This, in some way, brings me onto my next point; the music and the sounds. One of my favorite scenes entailed both Mcconaughey and a fellow astronaut, played by David Gyasi, talking about the small width of the vessels walls being the only thing separating them from the harsh Vacuum of space. Mcconaughey talks semantics, and then passes Gyasi some earphones. Gyasi then puts them in and Mcconaughey presses play. Instantly, I was on music-judging-mode. What would it be? Would it be a bit of Led Zeppelin? Handel? Mozart? The Beatles? It wasn't music. As the scene changed and we received a shot of the spaceship slowly travelling past Saturn, the sounds of a rainstorm, thunder, and birds chirping filled the idyllic melancholy of spaces' dark abyss. Maybe it was just me, but I found this to be a very sentimental scene. It showed the beauty of earth without the influence of mankind and it was sadly nostalgic. This is a planet that holds so much life and beauty, and slowly, it's becoming inhabitable.
Similarly, throughout the movie, Hans Zimmer, the composer, used a mix of crescendos and fast sluicing violins to create the feel of something being progressively built up—of something greater occurring. There wasn't much of a varied range of instrumental use, but I don't think the movie needed it whatsoever. It had that kind of magnanimous vibration that reminded me of Gustav Holst's planet suite, Opus 32; Venus. I have to admit, a fair amount of goosebumps managed to slide down my spine. Hot-damn, the music was brilliant.
I'd also like to talk about the villain, as many people are saying, of this movie; Time. Nolan has previously explored the idea of 'time' being a main focal point of a movie with Memento and Inception, but in Interstellar, time is an SOB. It's a constant race against the clock because an hour on their new-found planet is seven years on earth. This theme allowed Nolan to explore some quite, if not very, emotional and disturbing ideas.
Irrespective of all my appraisal of the movie, there were a few critics, reviewers and members of the general public, who severely disliked this movie. Interstellar can be comparable to marmite; you either love it or you hate it. But I was looking at some of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and I get the overall consensus of why a lot of them didn't enjoy it.
For example, Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal, said;
Christopher Nolan's 168-minute odyssey through the space-time continuum is stuffed with stuff of bewildering wrongness.
And Glenn Lovell from CinemaDope said;
Cornpone existentialism ... Overlong, talky and, depending on the crisis, either dopey or pretentious ... a New Age-y, fuzzy-headed sci-fi'er that borrows liberally from Kubrick, 'Contact' and Nolan's own "Inception."
From these two reviews, along with a fair few others, it's clear that they got either confused or bored. And for the life of me, I can't understand why. I will admit that I got confused. I think at some points in the movie, everyone got confused, BUT, it doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the movie. Of course it doesn't, if anything, it's given me more incentive to go and watch it again to unravel these theories. At the end of the day, it focuses on Einstein's theory of relativity, and the idea of 'Five dimensional space'. In other terms, gravity can 'leak' into different dimensions. And if that makes sense to you, NASA is your future. However, for a lot of people, the thought of being confused after watching a movie sits uneasy with them.
This isn't the case with Interstellar. It isn't a soft Disney movie, or a bullet-to-blood action. It's intelligent, it's deep and lord, you need to listen and pay attention. I completely disagree with those who dislike it, and are comparing it to Kubrick and Inception. If you cannot appreciate the wonders of science and the universe, I question how interesting you are as a person, but hey; that's just my opinion. The one let-down for me was a slice of the movie where Caine and Chastain are talking. The information sounds vital, but Caine's slightly breathy tone blocks out what Chastain is saying. It was slightly annoying, but later on, she repeats a condensed version. Maybe that was a tad bit harsh...
Overall, I would call this movie a work of visual genius. Nolan has completely out-done himself and I believe this to be one of the best movie's he's made thus far. It's intriguing, so, so clever and fueled with enough emotion to power a light-house. Yes, whilst it is confusing, and that is the only let-down, there are a lack of plot-holes—although some of you will end up finding them—to prove me wrong. The acting on behalf of Chastain, Mcconaughey and Hathaway is some of the most exquisite I've seen in a long time. So, If you want to watch a movie that doesn't require you to leave your brain at the door and gets the mental juice flowing, go and watch Interstellar, and then tell me what you think.
Below is the trailer, in case any of you would like to check it out (:
Note: Go to the toilet once to twice before the movie so you don't miss anything. It's all vital, trust me.
Until next time guys.