“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.” – Joseph A. Cooper
Interstellar is an outstanding sci-fi/adventure film set in a future world where our food supply is depleting. Giant dust storms gust across the Earth’s surface killing the precious crops that stand in its way. With every dying food resource, man faces his coming extinction. Earth is no longer a viable option for us. We need to find a new world, a new home.
And that is what Interstellar is all about: man’s journey to find a planet that can support life and allow us to start over. The plot is extremely engaging, because it revolves around an all-too-real premise—human extinction. Not one second of the movie was dull or tiresome, which speaks volumes for a movie with a runtime of nearly three hours.
Recently, the science in the movie has come under criticism. Many scholars in the science community question the possibility of some of the events. The criticism comes with a blow to the plot—given that the film’s climax relies heavily on the science within the movie. While some parts of the film do seem improbable, I can’t mark the movie down for this. After all, it is science fiction.
As expected, Christopher Nolan’s directing is fantastic. Every scene is expertly crafted to move the plot forward. The world the Nolans build (Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan, co-wrote the script) is unlike any I have ever seen—it’s gripping and real. In a matter of just a few minutes, we’re taken in by the decaying future. And the further our heroes travel from their homes, the more immersed we become in the film’s well-constructed plot.
Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema blends well with Nolan’s directing. Scenes are incredibly well-lit, leaving no confusion as to what you are looking at—which is what you should expect from a big budget movie. Though, the real highlight of the cinematography are the camera angles. The camera is perfectly aligned to provide the whole picture of any given scene. One scene the camera is close to the actors during an emotional moment, and the next we’ll get a wide shot to show the vast size of a planet. It is remarkably well done and deeply engaging.
It should come as no surprise that Interstellar is incredibly well-cast. Matthew McConaughey leads the film as Joseph Cooper, a NASA pilot turned farmer. McConaughey delivers a powerful performance in the midst of his theatrical resurgence known as “The McConaissance.” This role is perfect for him, and it’s his greatest performance to date.
McConaughey is met with powerhouse performances by award winning actors/actresses Anne Hathaway, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, and many others. Not a single moment was poorly performed by any of the cast members. Anne Hathaway was lovable in her role as Brand, while John Lithgow played Cooper’s father-in-law with a “call it how I see it” attitude.
Hans Zimmer’s work in Interstellar is nothing short of amazing. Each song richly enhances the tone of the scene, making incredibly suspenseful scenes all the better. Much of the movie’s score adds to the mystery of the film, and heightens the film’s level of immersion. This score will surely be an award winner.
Interstellar has a big focus on human connection. Throughout the movie, Cooper’s primary motivation is his family. Everything he does, or thinks about doing, is for them. The film does a wonderful job showing the importance of relationships. This focus really pushed this movie above and beyond for me.
The movie also mentions the story of Lazarus. The space explorations are called “The Lazarus Missions” since man is trying to “come back from the dead,” referencing their coming extinction. This was a great reference that made me crack a smile in the dark theater.
The biggest issue I had with the movie was the sound quality. Most scenes were fine, but in a few scenes it was hard to hear what the characters were saying (especially at pivotal points). Christopher Nolan has since spoken about this issue, explaining that it was an artistic choice. Nolan purposefully did not allow the audience to hear certain parts in order to convey emotional tone. To me, it wasn’t successful, but it wasn’t a huge issue either.
This space epic contains a few scenes of cursing and foul language. It is fairly tame when compared to most movies released today, but it is there none-the-less. This movie, being a science-heavy film, deals with the theory of evolution. In certain parts, there are statements saying that we need to evolve. Just a note of caution to any viewers that want to see this movie.
I found Interstellar to be an exceptional space epic and one of my favorite space-themed films. If you can get past the nearly three hour runtime, you will surely be hooked by this juggernaut of a film.
The Bottom Line