Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Ellen Burstyn
Today children I shall be talking about Interstellar. But before I do, I think I better give you a little context, just to show how high my expectations were for this film. I love Christopher Nolan. I am a Nolanite, or Nolanoid, or whatever people who like Christopher Nolan are called. I’ve seen every film of his (apart from Following) and I’ve given five of them a 10/10 which is a score I hand out rarely. It confuses me when people slag him off because he’s clearly the best writer/director to be working on mainstream blockbuster films since Steven Spielberg, only I think that his films are much better than Steven’s.
The great thing with Chris is that he has an ambition when he’s making a film and he isn’t afraid to go ‘big’. His films are only so thrilling because of the intimacy he creates between the audience and the characters. As soon as I heard Christopher Nolan’s next film was a sci-fi film called, Interstellar, I was excited. I was so excited that I only treated myself to one viewing of the teaser trailer and first trailer. It was enough, I was sold and I didn’t want to see any other trailer, because I wanted to know and see as little as possible.
I decided that Interstellar needed to be seen in IMAX, so I booked my ticket to see Interstellar on the biggest screen in the UK. Even though the film had garnered some mixed reviews (I was hoping for full-on rave ones, like when The Dark Knight and Inception came out) I still put my trust into Christopher to deliver me something extraordinary. I don’t know if it’s the gigantic screen talking, but Interstellar absolutely delivered.
This was the best experience I’ve ever had at the cinema. The screen was so so huge and immersive. The sound shook the seats because it was so loud. It made the experience incredibly intense and by the end of it, I felt like I had been for a little trip out in space. I’m not sure if this will translate quite so well on your TV screen at home, however the film is unmissable whatever you choose to see it on. Whilst a lot of the film does rely on extraordinary visuals and heart-stopping set-pieces, at its heart it’s an intimate family drama which suggests that your children are your one and only important universe.
I was absolutely sucked into the film from the moment it started. The stuff before Matthew goes into space is probably some of the best stuff in the film. We learn so much about Coop and he becomes a worthy character to invest three hours into (three hours which fly by, I might add). There’s a strong focus on the relationship between Coop and his daughter, and it’s this relationship which drives the film right up to, and including, its jaw-dropping conclusion. The first hour is also quite funny too, which was a nice surprise as Nolan doesn’t normally dabble in too much humour.
There’s a really emotional scene where Coop wants to say goodbye to his daughter, who he doesn’t know when he’s going to see again, before his space travels. It’s beautifully acted by both Matthew McConaughey and child actor, Mackenzie Foy and is at the powerful centre of the whole film. After this the film adopts an entirely new setting. Literally. We’re blasted off into space and the fun really begins. The less you know about the space scenes, the better, as it’s a lot of fun to try and work out just where the film is going!
Suffice to say that Interstellar is jam-packed with eye-popping visuals and intense thrills which dwarf last year’s Gravity into a speck of space dust by comparison. Speaking of Gravity, do you remember when it came out last year and it got a load of rave reviews from the critics, but really it was just a beautifully made fairground ride? Well, why hasn’t Interstellar received those rave reviews? Not only is Interstellar thrilling and marvellously directed, but it also has a terrific screenplay which is not only intelligent, but heartfelt and emotive.
With The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher proved that he could direct on a big scale and Interstellar is his biggest yet. He has an ambition which most directors lack and instead of kicking him down for it, we should be nurturing it! Interstellar presents us with new and exciting ideas which colossally blow other mainstream films out of the water. The action is also elevated to unreachable new heights thanks to Hans Zimmer’s astonishing score. It’s a haunting piece of music that will be ringing in your head for hours after the film has finished. He’s left the big drums and strings behind and re-invented himself with a bizarre church organ which perfectly matches the dark atmosphere of the film.
A lot of people have expressed a strong disliking to the final 40 minutes of Interstellar. I can see why as up until then the film is more or less possible to understand. It’s complex, but it’s still easy enough to follow. However, Christopher completely rips up the rule book and Interstellar goes seriously barmy in the last 40 minutes. Personally, I loved the third act and it just goes to show the sheer creativity and ambition which Christopher Nolan has going inside his head. I found it all very interesting both on a visual and intellectual level. I don’t understand it all, but I have my theories and I’m sure that there will be a mountain of theories cropping up on the interweb.
Interstellar is a truly remarkable experience. It boasts awesome ideas and visuals, but it never forgets its heart. I’m a tough cookie to make cry, but I’m not going to lie (ooh poetry!) there were three occasions when I had tears filling up in my eyes. There are some astonishingly powerful and moving scenes in there which reminds me why I go to the cinema. I don’t just want crazy visuals and excitement, I want to be moved and I want to be invested in characters so that I care what happens to them at the end. Interstellar more than achieves that.
I’ll need to give it another watch to work out where I’d put it on Christopher Nolan’s mesmerising filmography, but he hasn’t let me down. I hope that Interstellar is seen as a sci-fi classic in years to come because it really does deserve that accolade.