Interstellar, the ninth feature film from Christopher Nolan finally arrived at cinemas last week after months of anticipation.
As always Nolan revealed very little about his latest movie through the trailers, with a very brief plot out line being shown as we got closer to the movies release date.
And Interstellar is arguably Nolan’s biggest movie to date- biggest run time, biggest effects, biggest names and also his biggest let down. The film sees Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper forced into leaving his family to shoot off into another galaxy to find a new home for the otherwise doomed human race.
As with Inception Nolan has set his ambitions high with the movie’s plot, exploring quantum physics, worm holes, dust clouds and the relativity of time, however unlike Inception Nolan has missed the mark someway this time, with the science of the movie drowning out his characters and any hope of believable dialogue.
It has taken Nolan the best part of a decade to research the science behind the movie but in making his movie theoretically possible he has forgotten to add any believable human element to the film as the movie sags under its own weight.
McConaughey gives a solid performance in the central role but the relationship between him and his daughter, whilst at times being interesting often feels forced and as the pair age they become infinitely more cliché’ and dull. Whilst Nolan’s seeming inability to write strong, or interesting female characters strikes again. Anne Hathaway’s Brand starts of as an intelligent, interesting female before reverting to the laziest cliche possible whilst Jessica Chastain’s Murph is as two dimensional (for those who’ve seen it, excuse the pun) as they come.
The saving grace of Nolan’s film is its visuals. The film is undeniably a visual masterpiece; stunning cinematography mixed with a great depth of field and mind blowing special effects ensure that the film has to be seen on the biggest possible screen.
There has been a lot said about the plot of the film, with many claiming it is too complicated to follow, whilst this may be the case at times it is at other times as dumb as it is pretentious. As the movie comes towards its close after a perfectly entertaining, if contrived opening half, the plot starts to tie itself in knots as Nolan seems unsure as to whether he wants to create a philosiphical work about the relationship between mankind and the planet or a volume up to 11 summer blockbuster- with the final product being something of a peculiar hybrid of both. It is a film that perfectly highlights both Nolan’s strengths and weaknesses as a film maker.
For all its flaws the film is an undeniably entertaining affair, almost due to its bat shit crazy plot threads and its wild inconsistencies. One of the key motif’s in the film is that of emotion vs. science and in some strange, perhaps intentional twist that is the key battle that prevents his film ever reaching the levels it could.
Verdict: In trying to create his masterpiece Nolan appears to have made a strange hybrid of high brow Sci-Fi, a dumb summer blockbuster and Dylan Thomas poetry. It’s far from perfect but its undeniably entertaining.