Be honest: before he made the (mostly superb) Dark Knight trilogy, did anyone care for Christopher Nolan? Oh, he did make acclaimed films, like Following and Mememto. But he didn’t become a mainstream name until he took on the task to put Batman on the big screen. After those films (and the Prestige. I’m not forgetting about The Prestige), movie fans eagerly awaited his new films. So it didn’t surprise anyone that when Interstellar, the latest film to come attached to his name, is highly anticipated by the public.
Of course, it doesn’t matter if Christopher Nolan is directing the film or if Stephen Spielberg is (who was, by the way, was originally supposed to direct Interstellar). The only thing that matters is if the Interstellar is any good or not.
In Interstellar, the Earth’s ecosystem is slowing dying and turning into a giant dust bowl. As such, the world is now putting all of their resources into creating an totally agrarian society. However, with the discovery of a wormhole that leads to a distant galaxy is found off Saturn, an secretly funded government project makes plans to have the entire population of Earth colonize a new planet. Or, at the very least, ensure the human race’s survival.
The first thing I want to talk about is the casting… which is phenomenal! Everyone does manage to pull their own weight throughout the entire film, with everyone giving really believable performances. Matthew McConaughey is great as the lead of the film, giving a mix of smarts and cowboy attitude for the most part. I also liked the daughter (or daughters) in the film. I loved the extra attention to detail Nolan gave the casting for the role since both Mackenzie Foy and Jessica Chastain look similar enough to me to make it believable that they are the same person. I was also impressed by Mackenzie Foy’s acting overall. A lot of child actors are terrible as they’re too busy looking “cute.” Thankfully, Mackenzie Foy is not one of those terrible actresses!
Oddly enough, my favorite character in the film isn’t any of the humans! My favorite character of Interstellar is TARS, the military grade robot who joins the trip. I loved his extremely utilitarian and functional design. Also, I liked how he had different “settings” to suit the crew’s needs.
Speaking of aesthetics, Interstellar is a phenomenal looking film. The set designs are fantastic. When they show how dusty Earth’s become, you actually believe it! But who cares about Earth? The other planets are much more interesting to look at! While they are rather plain to look at initially, a planet filled with water is pretty boring, I have to admit, it’s what they do with each planet that makes it interesting. I can’t really spoil anything but the planets they do visit seem real enough to me!
One thing most people are concerned about is how true it is to real science. I understand the hang ups but, really? As much as it does deals with science fact, Interstellar, at its heart, will always be a sci-fi film. There are some scenes where I can’t seem to grasp how it would work (what the crew hits during their descent into the ice planet comes to mind), I just let it go. I never said I was a super smart guy, so who am I to say what would happen in a theoretical setting? It’s a movie! Get over it!
While I may not understand physics or quantum mechanics, what I do know is pacing in a film. And Interstellar is a mixed bag in this department. The film does take its sweet time with “world building” and establishing the setting at the start of the film. You would expect the movie to pick up the pace once they get into space, but you’d be wrong! It’s only until roughly 40-50 minutes into the movie that any of the good stuff happens. Those 40-50 minutes aren’t exactly boring but I wouldn’t call it riveting cinema either! There are some scenes that can easily be cut to reduce the film’s 169 minute run time into a more respectable 140-145 minute film.
I said earlier I don’t have a problem if my limited understanding of physics as the movie doesn’t correlate what’s happening with the film but the film does try to explain a lot of it! That would be great if I didn’t have any knowledge of science and/or science fiction. But I do! And I do think a lot of the viewing public has an idea of what a “wormhole” is or how it’s possible for a being from another dimension would experience time and space. So I don’t think the science lessons were necessary.
I do have some issues with not understanding the motivations of some of the characters. As this is a spoiler free review, I can’t get into detail. But I can say some of the character’s motivations shift wildly throughout the film. It’s like their motivations were changed just so we can see some action sequences.
These issues aren’t a deal breaker, though. Interstellar is a great film and will make you think, which is always a good thing. Fans of science fiction will have a blast with the film. The regular movie viewer may not be able to fully comprehend all the science-y stuff but that won’t deter them from having a great time. A bit slow at times but Interstellar is something you need to watch if you love science fiction… or science fact.
Have you watched Interstellar? What did you think of the film? Let me know what you thought in the comments section below!