Interstellar

"Very Good"

Interstellar Review


Brainy blockbuster maestro Christopher Nolan heads into deep space with this epic adventure, which is packed with thoughtful ideas and big emotions even if the plot wobbles badly in the middle. But although it ultimately feels somewhat forced, the film is still a mesmerising exploration of parenthood and survival, bending time and gravity in ways that keep our brains spinning. And the seamless visual effects combine with some wrenching performances to make it unmissable.

It opens in a future America where a desperation for food has overtaken the need for technology and innovation. Which is a problem for Nasa pilot Cooper (Matthew Mcconaughey), who is now working a massive corn farm that he runs with his father (John Lithgow). Then Cooper and his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) discover a gravitational anomaly that leads them to a secret base run by father and daughter scientists Brand and Amelia (Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway), who are looking for a new home planet for humanity since Earth is dying. So Cooper joins up and heads through a wormhole with Amelia and crew (Wes Bentley and David Gyasi). Meanwhile, Murph (who grows up to be Jessica Chastain) gets involved in the project back on earth, wondering if her dad will ever return home as he promised.

The first act of the story is a beautiful depiction of yearning for discovery, that innate curiosity that drives people to do crazy things in the hopes of pushing the humanity forward (or in this case, saving it). Nolan directs this section beautifully, with sharp editing propelling the story out into space with real energy and passion. But once they begin visiting other planets, there are some extended episodes that feel oddly contrived, including an encounter that leads to unexplained violence, explosions and melodrama. These kinds of things undermine the characters' motivations to the point where the audience just has to take Nolan's word for it and ride it out, even as the underlying ideas begin to lose their weightiness.

That said, all the talk about a fourth, fifth and even sixth dimension (time, gravity and of course love) is pointed and thought-provoking. And McConaughey, Hathaway and Chastain all deliver emotionally resonant performances. There's also terrific support from stalwarts like Caine and Lithgow, as well as Matt Damon, Casey Affleck and Ellen Burstyn (the less said about their roles the better). So it's rather frustrating that the film seems to relax its grip on the audience, becoming less sympathetic as the story pings around from one set-piece to another, never quite coming up with that one idea that might elicit a "wow" from the viewer. It's far more complex than Gravity and more moving than 2001, but aside from the bravura filmmaking the feelings that linger at the end are nothing new.



Interstellar

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 169 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th November 2014

Box Office USA: $120.9M

Box Office Worldwide: $542.2M

Budget: $200M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Legendary Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Syncopy, Lynda Obst Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Fresh: 184 Rotten: 69

IMDB: 8.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Cooper, as Brand, as Murph, as Professor Brand, as Tom, as Old Murph, as Dr. Mann, as Donald, as Young Tom, as Young Murph, as Doyle, as TARS (voice), as Getty, as Principal, as Romilly, as NASA Board Member, as CASE (voice), as Ms. Kelly, Leah Cairns as Lois

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