Dir: Christopher Nolan
The blockbuster saviour, old school communicator and all round heady guy, Christopher Nolan leaves his Batman trilogy behind like a shuttle heading for deep space; Interstellar is a wide-eyed exploration into the very real future of what the forever brilliant Carl Sagan called the little blue dot; Our planet. Nolan (writing once again with his brother Jonathan), drops us into a terrifying predicament facing our world before taking us far from it, beyond space, time and eventually, reality.
At nearly three hours in length and filled to the brim with jargon and mathematics which have baffled some viewers and critics, Interstellar is definitely not light pop corn viewing but for those of us with a genuine interest in the stars and in the philosophy of time and space, there is much to love about the sheer brazen drive of the director and his team; They inject this epic film with a shameless emotional and sometimes cringing sentimental tone but, in all honestly, it never really feels out of step with the scale and the themes which Nolan has always been focused on.
Pilfering exploration ideas from The Right Stuff and 2001 (to name just two), we are along for the ride with an ex whizz kid pilot turned farmer named Cooper (Mathew McConaughey) who has chosen to leave his two young children Tom (Timothée Chalamet) and Murph (Mackenzie Foy), with his bulldog faced father-in-law (John Lithgow) on a dying planet to zip off down a worm-hole to a nearby solar system in search of a second inhabitable “earth”. This is only after Murph and Cooper are sent on a Spielberg like treasure hunt by an inanimate house hold object, but that story is best left untouched.
Michael Cain‘s NASA professor may have solved the very tricky problem of transport by unravelling the only thing that can permeate space and time; Gravity. So Coop and his new team Amelia (Anne Hathaway), Doyle (Wes Bentley) and Romilly (David Gyasi) take one for humanity and head into the wide black yonder with a fantastic token android by the name of TARS. It’s odd in a way that this robot comes equipped with a rather high humour setting whereby Nolan’s astronauts seem positively stoic in their dangerous mission, at one point turn the setting down further.
Interstellar has had many criticisms levelled at it; From the sound mix, which I had absolutely no problem with at all after the baffling Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, to the stilted scientific dialogue which is really only there to hold the audiences hand just the right amount in the middle section of the film; Wouldn’t it have been almost incomprehensible for the average cinema goer without it? Many have even said that there is little “fun” to be had in this enormous blockbuster but I for one found it slyly funny, unpredictable and incredibly refreshing that a gigantic studio financed film comes fully equipped with difficult, confusing and reaching ideologies which are all but invisible in films of this size.
It’s not 2001 and it certainly isn’t quite Contact but Interstellar is another big win for Nolan and his team which will remain a point of conversation amongst friends long after the film’s unique end. Space, time and reality are big themes but there is no other director working today who could handle them with the confidence, bravado and unabashed love in the blockbuster realm than Mr Christopher Nolan.