Sunday, November 9, 2014

Review: Interstellar (2014)

                     'Interstellar': A Rather Poetic Odyssey Into The Depths Of Time And Space
           While I do enjoy films that are set in space, I tend to feel that some of them, like 2001 and Gravity, have given off a rather cold vibe since I wasn't able to have some kind of emotional connection with them. Thankfully, Interstellar manages to not only be a grand space epic, but a poetic one about the power of love and because of this, manages to surpass both 2001 and Gravity, in my opinion.

             Interstellar follows the story of a man named Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) who is coerced into going on a journey into space, alongside a group of explorers named Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi), and Doyle (Wes Bentley). They all go on a journey into a wormhole to potentially find a new home for mankind because Earth is slowly dying off.

            I'll start off with discussing the film's score by Hans Zimmer. It is absolutely beautiful and while it has the traditional classical score that film composers tend to use, it is also a more futuristic spacey sound to fit the film's story. It may not be as booming as his score for films like Inception, but it is just harmonious.

            Next, I'll get into the film's thematic material. One thing that surprised me about the film's theme was how, and hopefully this doesn't spoil anything, but it deals with the power of love and how it can transcend into time and space. It manages to show just how strong love is without going into that whole Hollywood "love conquers all" B.S. that films like A Beautiful Mind try to force feed us. One aspect that encaptures the whole theme of love is definitely the relationship between Cooper and his daughter Murph, which is the heart and soul of the film. The main reason Cooper goes into space is so he can return to his family and again, that fits the whole theme of love that the film has. Plus, the scene where Cooper tells Murph goodbye almost had me in tears.

            Next is the direction from Mr. Christopher Nolan. I loved how even though this is a large-scale film, the way Nolan directs it makes it seem like a film on a smaller-scale. It manages to be futuristic yet completely grounded in reality. Also, I thought the visuals and shots of space are absolutely beautiful and while they certainly aren't THE things that make the film, they are very impressive. One of my favorite space scenes is when the astronauts are in the frozen landscape where even the clouds are frozen. I also thought the film was beautifully shot by cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, who also did Let The Right One In, Her, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and The Fighter. 

            I'll get into some of the performances. Matthew McConaughey once again delivers as Cooper, the leader of his exploration group who leads them with an almost collective cool yet in his more quiet moments, we see him as his most emotionally vulnerable. But while the other actors, including Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, a surprise cameo, and Casey Affleck, are very good, there are a few I'd like to acknowledge: Mackenzie Foy, who plays the younger version of Murph and for such a young child actress, she gives a very mature and grounded performance. Also, I thought John Lithgow was a standout as Cooper's father-in-law and he provides some nice mild comic relief.

            Lastly, I'll get into the screenplay. The screenplay is like a smoothly flowing ocean, in my opinion, as it goes from one act to the next. I've read that some people have problems with the film's script and while I disagree, I can still see why they had the problems with this film that they did. I'll be honest and say there were a few points that didn't make sense but eventually, I was like "Oh, alright". Other than that, I didn't have any problems with the film.


           Overall, Interstellar is a poetic visual saga that transcends the power of love and humanity. It is brilliantly acted, beautifully shot and directed, has a terrific score and is a grand epic without ever trying to be grand.

            Would I Recommend It?:
           Absolutely. Whether you are a fan of Nolan, space movies, or movies in general, you should buy a ticket and give this a watch.

Grade: A-