Sunday, 9 November 2014

Interstellar - review

With 2010's Inception Christopher Nolan explored the inner mind. With Interstellar, Nolan has decided to "dream a little bigger darling" and has set his sights on outer space to deliver a grand, awe-inspiring, wondrous 2014 A Space Odyssey.

The McConaissance goes out of this world as Cooper, a former pilot/engineer who now makes his living as a farmer on an Earth that is dying. He is given the chance to lead a mission to search for inhabitable planets beyond our solar system using Interstellar travel.

This leads to the central crux of Interstellar. Humanity versus the human race.

Several times Cooper is reminded of the sacrifices he must make to complete the mission:

"I've got kids, professor.
Then get out there and save them. We must reach far beyond our own lifespans. We must think not as individuals but as a species."

"You might have to decide between seeing your children again and the future of the human race."

On the one hand you have a mission to save the human race, on the other it is boiled down to our humanity and own individual survival instinct and Cooper's will to keep his promise to see his children again.

The awful truth of what this will take is demonstrated following a message from home after a visit to one of the new planet's surface.

To go into the plot and science in any more detail would do the movie a disservice and also possibly require a PHD as there is so much more to this film than the trailers have given away.

This is the type of film where plot and dialogue can take a back seat in the space shuttle as you strap in for the audio visual experience that Nolan, Zimmer and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema have dreamed up (sometimes literally as there are times when Hans Zimmer's booming score overpowers the dialogue).

It also wears its influences on its sleeves like a host of NASA mission patches, with the biggest patch belonging to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Not only are there certain themes and plot similarities between them but also the A.I. robot companions resemble the black monoliths plus both films reliance on practical effects in filming that ground them in reality whilst simultaneously taking us to galaxies and universes we could only dream of.

It is said that Man's reach exceeds his grasp but when that man is Christopher Nolan and he is reaching for the stars, the result is still an extremely powerful, moving, exhilarating cinematic experience.

4 stars

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