Monday, November 10, 2014

Interstellar Review: A Space Odyssey

If there is one filmmaker that can capture the attention of moviegoers everywhere, it is none other then Christopher Nolan. In the past decade, this filmmaker has provided audiences some of the most compelling blockbuster such as Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy. Now, Nolan takes his latest film to the stars as kicking off this season of movies is Interstellar. Originally slated to be a Steven Spielberg project, Nolan decided to helm this sci-fi flick after Spielberg moved to other projects. What followed was a film surrounded in mystery and excitement; but is Interstellar another winner for the acclaimed director?

Interstellar takes place in a not so distant future and centers on former pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey). As the Earth faces its own destruction, Cooper is enlisted by NASA to charter an unknown galaxy in the hopes to find a new home for the human race. However, with many obstacles in their way, can the crew of the endurance complete their mission before its to late?

 The plot of Interstellar was hard to get into at first. While the first act did a great job at setting up both the mission and the world of Interstellar, there were sporadic moments in the first hour which made it hard to get invested in the film. However, once the Endurance takes off and reaches the wormhole, that is where things get interesting. The story becomes not just a space adventure, but a space odyssey. This sci-fi tale became surrounded in complexity and tension; which certainly grasps my attention.  The plot also breaks off into two areas with the secondary story following Cooper's daughter, Murphy, as she tries to finish a scientific equation that can save the Earth. While Murph's story was present in the film, I felt that her story would have been better if there was a solid balance in the overall plot. Though some areas in the story could have been better, Interstellar more then made up for it by staying true to its concept and making the plot engaging.

Like Nolan's previous films, Interstellar featured a massive ensemble. However, unlike Nolan's previous works, this sci-fi film had a different kind of cast. Matthew McConaughey showed that he has come a long way in the role of Cooper. The actor played a genuine protagonist who, while he may not have been the most interesting character, showed off McConaughey's range. Anne Hathaway also had a solid performance as Brand. Brand was not Hathaway's best role, but the actress certainly brought her A game. Jessica Chastain as Murph made for a compelling character as she brought a lot of energy to Cooper's grown up daughter. Rounding out the supporting cast were the likes of John Lithgow and Michael Caine; while other actors such as Casey Affleck and Topher Grace were just there. Add two entertaining robots and a surprise appearance and you have a strong, yet flawed, cast for a blockbuster.

Seeing that Interstellar is an a sci-fi movie, you would expect a direction that would appeal to the genre as well as mechanics to turn this blockbuster into spectacle. Fortunately, this film delivers in both of those areas. No doubt scientific experts could pull this movie apart, but for the context of  the film, the theories and ideas did work thanks to Nolan's direction. When it came to the movie's effect and design, Interstellar was flawless. Christopher Nolan and his crew blended practical and cg effects perfectly  which created a variety of beautiful shots and one of the best sequences of the year. Adding to the great effects was the contribution of Han Zimmer's score. Zimmer provided a score that was unique for both the composer and Christopher Nolan's previous films. Needless to say, from effects to the music, Interstellar is undoubtedly the best made film of the year.
It is hard to say where Interstellar stands with Nolan's previous films; not to mention the rest of the sci-fi genre. However, Interstellar is an odyssey of a blockbuster. The film was engaging with its ideas and it pushes the boundaries of movie magic. In my book, Interstellar is the definition of a movie experience; which makes it one of the best films of 2014.

Check out this review on Moviepilot

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