With Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Matt Damon, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn
Written by Jonathan & Christopher Nolan
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Impressing audiences with his early feature film Memento, along with his brother as writing partner, Christopher Nolan has grown into a contemporary auteur of note, not only giving the Batman franchise a new boost, but also creating amazing genre bending visual and cerebral movies like Inception, delving into layers of the subconscious in the shape of a futuristic action film.
With Interstellar he takes on space travel and beyond, again in a very unique way. Weather conditions are slowly eating away at planet earth, making it hard to grow crops. With this countdown to extinction for the human race, after a former astronaut's daughter interacts with strange occurrences in their farm home, the two of them stumble upon co-ordinates. On investigating, these lead them to a secret NASA base where they're working on a program to find possible inhabitable planets for the human race to ensure its survival. Several scientists have traveled to various planets to test their viability. A team needs to head out there to try and communicate with some of these explorers with whom they've lost contact. McConaughey's character is one of the few who can actually pilot this mission and he's been burning to get back out there again. But, there's a chance he won't return, having him face the struggle to leave his young protesting daughter behind.
With a team he heads out into the unknown, also accompanied by a practical (unconventional) robot.
The concept of space, time and dimension becomes an extremely interesting and dramatic device. One of these locations they need to check out is within the gravity of a black hole, resulting in a time shift that has every hour passed on that planet actually being 7 years on earth. The longer he stays, the older his daughter gets - and a crisis may force them to have to do so.
Together with the narrative levels inherent in the diverse personalities on board interacting, further hidden agendas and the basic elements of love, courage and sacrifice, make Interstellar a multi-layered drama as opposed to a straight forward space adventure film, stretching across an extensive time period.
There is also a plausibility in the science, and not just wild imaginings, as scientists versed in these mind-blowing concepts were incorporated as producers.
I got into a little bit of a Facebook discussion about Interstellar and 2001: A Space Odyssey (led on from a post I made about The Shining) - it boils down to my FB connection feeling 2001 is overrated and Interstellar a masterpiece, not borrowing from that legendary 1968 film. Our views are not reversed, but I do believe Kubrick's groundbreaking movie is, and indeed will remain a masterpiece, and Nolan's latest effort an amazing cinematic and dramatic feat. While he felt he had to defend the fact that Nolan did not have 2001 as a reference is actually not correct, as he does admire it and felt connected to that movie (not like its a total rip-off or Interstellar could be seen as the 2001 of this generation, without a doubt - an intellectual and existential meeting of science, drama and entertainment).
As far as possible Nolan implemented practical in-camera effect shots, making it so much more realistic.
At almost 3 hours, it is quite a marathon, but a highly engrossing one that will have you on the edge of your seat.
5 / B
- Paul Blom
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Nolan's Batman movies: