Oh…my poor, poor brain. Where to begin? How could I possibly try and evaluate all that Interstellar offered? After seeing the film, discussing it, and reading post after post about it online, I’ve come to an important realization: I will never understand and truly comprehend a lot of what’s scientifically going on in this movie. I have a better grasp on it now than I did when the credits began to roll, but this movie’s scope is so large, and it’s reach is so far. When the director employs an actual theoretical physicist (Kip Thorne) to help with the script and to advise on the actual probabilities of what is and what isn’t reality, you should be confident this isn’t a popcorn blockbuster. No, this was something much more than that…it was a movie that will make you use your brain until it hurts.
This doesn’t affect my rating of the movie, but I think it has to be noted – there is no other director that I can think of, that would have the guts or the brains to try and pull off something of this nature. There is so much actual science in this movie, and so much theory that could legitimately stump any smart person, that it’s just an impressive feat at that level. To that, I give Christopher Nolan a tremendous amount of credit.
There have been discussions on the balance of visual effects and treats for the eyes, and the effort given to create the human story in Interstellar. To address that first part – the visuals in the film are awe-inspiring. It’s almost as if Gravity last year was a mere appetizer for the much bigger slice of space we’re invited to see this time around. The planets, the ships, the journey among the stars is truly extraordinary to watch. Hans Zimmer strikes again with what I considered to be a perfect score, as well. But Interstellar, as scientifically detailed as it got, never had space travel alone in its heart. It was about love. It was about family, and the will and need to do anything to be with those you love, and to protect them too. A few scenes struck a surprisingly strong emotional chord with me, showcasing the basic human desire for love and care.
The acting was also top notch, led by Matthew McConaughey, who gave a better performance in this than he did in his Oscar-winning role in Dallas Buyers Club. When it was announced that Nolan picked McConaughey for the lead role, I was somewhat disappointed. But to my surprise, in the best of ways, he delivered. The rest of the main actors – Hathaway (who I normally hate, but didn’t in this movie!), Caine, Chastain, Lithgow – were all very, very solid in their own rights.
With all of that said, after dissecting the science versus human/emotional balance, the acting, the visuals and score, and everything else…it came down to one conclusion for me. Throughout the first roughly two hours, the film was very, very good. The scope was so intense, heavy, and heady, yet, it never quite became great. It was so jam-packed with what it wanted to say, and for whatever reason, didn’t completely translate to greatness on the screen. However, the final 40 or so minutes were so beautiful in every which way, and blew me away, that it made it very, very close to magnificent. There will always be questions I’ll have over the science, but nothing can take away from the experience of watching it, and the near brilliance it did achieve. And my gut tells me that at some point in the future, my opinion will only go up.
INTERSTELLAR: (out of 4)
Filed under: Movie review | Tagged: michael caine, christopher nolan, anne hathaway, matt damon, john lithgow, sci-fi, Jessica Chastain, Matthew McConaughey, Interstellar, outer space, wormhole, black hole, ellen burstyn, mackenzie foy, TARS, wes bentley, david gyasi, casey affleck, topher grace, jonathan nolan | Leave a comment »