Christopher Nolan has become a renowned film director in recent years, with the likes of “Momento”, “Inception” and “The Dark Knight” trilogy under his belt. The writer-director has made his return in 2014 with his most ambitious project to date – “Interstellar”.
Set in the near future, Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. When humanity is facing extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, giving mankind the opportunity to widen their lifespan. A group of explorers must travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life.
Despite the focus on space exploration, the real driving force of the film is the father/daughter relationship between Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy). It’s quite unusual for Christopher Nolan to touch upon sentimentality in his films. However, while the scenes make for intriguing viewing, they fail to tug at the heartstrings as much as you would have hoped.
For the vast majority of its three hour running time, Interstellar is highly engaging. This is largely down to the constant thrills and spills, which Nolan brilliantly executes through the film’s visuals. Whereas modern filmmaking has become reliant on computer-generated effects, it’s refreshing to see that Nolan didn’t use any green screen during the production of Interstellar, instead opting for real locations, miniatures and sets with massive projectors. While CGI is evident, it has been kept to a minimum, and the results are extremely impressive.
In terms of audio, intense moments are excellently heightened by Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack, which brilliantly adds to the colossal spectacle of the film, with the use of organs particularly standing out. The sound effects themselves are also worth mentioning, or more the distinct lack of sound, with the omission of noise in space adding to the realism of the film.
Further adding to the spectacle of Interstellar is the all-star cast. Matthew McConaughey brilliantly portrays Cooper, excellently delivering his lines and conveying his emotions well throughout. Anne Hathaway (Brand), Jessica Chastain (older Murph) and Michael Caine (Professor Brand) also stand out in their respective roles. Not to mention the surprise cameo towards the film’s climax.
However, the main downfall of Interstellar is its plot. Whereas the science and physics behind the space journey may be highly accurate and plausible, the average cinemagoer will watch such scenes in bemusement. This is far from mindless entertainment. Needless to say, with the exception of a few plot holes, Nolan ties the film together well in an M. Night Shyamalan-esque fashion.