Famous for writing and directing profound and thought-provoking films, Christopher Nolan has now applied his skills to the genre of science-fiction to create one of the most anticipated films of the year.
Interstellar takes place on an Earth that is ravaged by dust storms and famine, leaving an endangered human race to await its doom. However, the appearance of a wormhole near Saturn provides the opportunity for one last mission into space in order to locate a potential planet for the people of Earth to start again.
Having already proved to audiences worldwide that he can direct films of varying genres, from psychological thrillers to comic book superhero films, it comes as no surprise that Nolan succeeds in creating his vision of the next epic science-fiction film, but whether that is due to the premise of the film, the all star cast or the grandeur that Nolan brings to films that have his name attached is a whole other argument.
Matthew McConaughey delivers an incredible performance in Interstellar, convincingly expressing the emotion and sacrifice that his character Cooper must endure in order to save the lives of his children and the rest of humanity. Anne Hathaway also excels as the strong supporting character of Dr Brand, who understands the true importance of the mission and accepts that they might never return to Earth again. These performances along with many others throughout the film create the sense that you are witnessing a true event. Whether you feel like a part of Cooper’s crew aboard the Endurance, or one of the many innocents trapped on Earth, Interstellar does a brilliant job of creating believable characters that, for their own unique reasons, you desperately want to complete their mission. Even the two artificial intelligence robots, TARS and CASE, are enjoyable to watch. Authentic voice acting coupled with the banter they share with the crew of the Endurance causes the audience to care as much for these two sentient machines as they do for the human characters.
The film features a lot of scientific theory carefully blended with science-fiction, which revives the sense of awe and mystery surrounding space that we have forgotten slightly in modern science-fiction. Yet, it also conjures up frightening imagery and an equally scary scenario that can cause you to question the possibility and safety of genuine space travel. Due to the film taking place outside of our solar system, Interstellar literally creates whole worlds that aren’t bound by the same scientific laws as Earth, yet doesn’t stray too far away from what your own mind can conjure up. Instead, you are shown only small parts of the planets visited in the films and it is left up to the imagination as to what the remainder of the planet could be like.
Nolan typically favours practical effects over computer generated imagery in his films but, in interstellar, they seamlessly co-exist to create exceptionally detailed sets. This is made even more dynamic by the added CGI, which greatly heightens the suspense that is created in many of Interstellar’s scenes. The precision timing only relieves the tension when you are on the very edge of your seat.
The film can unfortunately be criticised for its length – at 169 minutes it might be considered too long. However, Interstellar utilizes excellent pacing for the majority of the film, with the occasional hitch here and there that upsets the balance. Overall, the film doesn’t feel tedious, nor does it leave much to be desired by the end.
On the whole, Interstellar is a huge credit to science-fiction, weaving an excellently written story with stunning visuals and deep, inspiring themes that are greatly enhanced by a beautiful soundtrack composed by the legendary Hans Zimmer, which will leave audiences pondering the mysteries of the universe for years to come.