CLUBBERS GUIDE TO MOVIES: INTERSTELLAR
What is actually out there in space? Does another dimension really truly exist? Are there habitable planets in the solar system? Christopher Nolan’s latest movie Interstellar raises so many questions when it comes to science and space you’ll be pondering this movie for a long time after watching it; perhaps years. My first question however is a little more down to earth: did I like it?
I was eager to see this movie just because its Nolan – isn’t that reason enough? However, I was easily reminded of how I felt about The Dark Knight Rises: I wasn’t sure if I had just sat through a bad movie or not.
I don’t think Interstellar is bad, but I do find myself wondering if it’s actually very good. Thinking is a good thing though, right? The science surely gives me something to ponder and sooner than later, a rewatch is required because what I didn’t get in the first viewing, I’m sure I’ll catch the second time around.
There’s a lot going on and Nolan fills Interstellar with so many ideas in the first half that you almost wish the movie would slow down a bit to let you digest all that information. Yet, his emphasis on realism in the visuals is meant to evoke awe, which it does, but because he doesn’t let the visuals play out (Nolan was obviously influenced by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY), the audience is kind’ve left wanting more.
Interstellar tackles very big ideas along the way. Some are fascinating – fifth-dimensional space represented in three dimensions – and some are cringe-worthy – love as a universal constant – but all of the ideas are approached with honesty and intelligence. That alone makes me like and admire the movie. I just wish I could love it. And probably with time I will, but as I said, I need it to sink in but then again Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY took me years and numerous watchings to comprehend and LOVE. So there is hope yet.
In no way am I comparing the two films by the way. Kubrick was light years ahead with his vision as opposed to Nolan’s work here. Interstellar stimulates intellectually, is dead on arrival emotionally, and works well enough cinematically without truly wowing the way it should. But for all of these ‘faults’, it is filled with sequences, moments, and concepts worthy of deep thinking, It is often a gorgeous, expertly put-together movie that demands to be seen on the biggest possible screen.
As for the acting, it was solid although character development is quite non-existent. McConaughey gives a performance that serves the audience well, Jessica Chastain’s role as the adult daughter of McConaughey is frustrating but acceptable. BUT, if I can be harsh here for a quick second; I really couldn’t care about Anne Hathatway’s role as Brand. It wasn’t “stellar” and truly is forgettable. Yes, I get it, she’s the scientist that is love-struck (a plot point about love being an unexplained force was particularly unconvincing), but she struggles to make any sense of the script and often appears that she’d rather be undergoing root-canal work. It’s a minor gripe I know and I digress.
Despite an undeniable visual might, occasional well-judged moments of emotion, and a game cast, Interstellar gets a bit bogged down in its multitude of narrative tangents, rigid scientific-thematics and drawn-out attempts to innovate. But at the same time, this film presents so many questions they are sure to elicit deep, lengthy essays and arguments about science, morality, and more for a long time to come. Will you love Interstellar or hate it? Is it the victim of its own hype? These are the questions we need to answer before dealing with the science on hand. That being said, I don’t mind going on this sci-fi trip again sometime in the future.