Movie Review: Interstellar (Controversial Edition)

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When you're space exploring, sometimes you gotta go for a dip

What’s it about

Given that all promotional material for Interstellar has been secretive as hell (and having watched the movie, it’s with good reason), this is basically the question most people will be asking. Earth is dying, environmentally devastated and plagued by a phenomenon known as black dust, making it impossible for any crops to grow except for a select few. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a farmer and ex-space pilot, must decide whether to leave his two children to lead a voyage through a wormhole to find a new habitat for humanity.

The Awesome

A Grandiose Experience: Make no mistake about it, this is a movie to be savoured in the cinema. Watch it on the cinema with the biggest screen and the best sound system you can find. It’s worth it just to watch Christopher Nolan’s visions of a desolate Earth, icy planets and deep dark space. Accompanied by a dramatic Hans Zimmer score, it’s simply majestic. Don’t rob yourself of Nolan’s technical genius in this department.

Let’s Go To Space: Anyone who’s ever wanted to be an astronaut while they were a kid will feel right at home watching this film, which is pretty much Nolan’s ode to mankind’s various space programs over the years. The sense of wonder and exploration is prevalent in the movie.

Ambitious: If there’s one thing you can’t fault Christopher Nolan films for, it’s ambition. With Interstellar, he turns it into his personal playground of mumble jumble physics, his own musings on humanity’s potential, space, time, gravity, family and love… all while giving us heart-pounding thrill after thrill on screen. Seriously, there are so many ups and downs in this movie. It’s stuffed full with them.

Thespians: A GREAT ensemble cast of McConaughey, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck doesn’t hurt the watchability of the film one bit.

Emotion: For a movie about wormholes and climate change, Interstellar is surprisingly emotional. The movie was really powerful in that regard… or there may have been a bunch of ninjas covertly chopping onions in the theater I was in. Those pesky onion ninjas…

Not So Sure About That…

Three Hours: Yeah, the movie is three hours. Don’t drink anything, for your bladder’s sake.

Character Growth: If this is what you look for in a film… you’ll be a little disappointed. In fact, one character’s emotional response to an incident can be viewed as illogical, choosing to stay in a certain state even when she has had more information and time to respond in a different manner. The characters stay rooted to their true selves for the most part in the movie.

The Third Act: This will be the most polarising thing about Interstellar. Like Nolan’s previous movie, The Dark Knight Rises, it’s so filled with ideas and overwhelming stakes that you almost wonder how it’s all going to end. To say it’s unexpected would be an understatement. The movie almost completely steers away from the logic it establishes for itself through the entire film to that point. To be fair, Nolan does drop hints at it throughout the flick. Watch it and decide for yourself. I was able to come to terms with it but I suspect lots of others may not be able to.

Verdict: 4/5

There’s a lot to admire in Interstellar. Although the execution of its resolution clearly makes it an imperfect movie, the scope of what Nolan tries to do here is so huge and all encompassing that you can’t help but admire it. It’s also wonderfully crafted and like the characters, it never stops aiming higher.

Casting for each role is just about pitch perfect. There’s even a small role for an unannounced famous actor that is well, just nuts. You get the sense of jaw-dropping awe that you should get if you were in fact, an astronaut. Themes are well presented, and driven home relentlessly. With nods to classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of The Third Kind, so sci-fi buffs will love it too. But above all else, Interstellar deals with the various human dilemmas that plague us daily. Should we keep endeavouring for more? And at what price? And of course, the sure-to-be divisive resolution will make for great water cooler talk. Viewers more engrossed in the emotional arc of Cooper and his family might choose to turn a blind eye to it like I did. Or they won’t. Who knows? Find out for yourself in the cinemas.

 

To watch or not to watch…

Definitely Watch If…

Avoid This If…

  • You appreciate big ideas in movies
  • You dislike Anne Hathaway. Unfortunately, nothing can help in this regard?
  • You are a fan of space travel and science fiction.
  • You are a fervent subscriber to logic in movies.
  • You’re part of the “In Nolan We Trust” fanboy/fangirl movement.
  • You thought “The Dark Knight Rises” had way too many plot holes.

 

 

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