Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar ★★★
‘We used to look up at the sky and wonder our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.’
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN TACKLES A WIDE ARRAY OF PROBLEMS THAT FACE HUMANITY, but the only thing he achieves is a good looking film. Convoluted, complicated and contrived, this film solely succeeds in the visuals and soundtrack…but nothing else.
This is Christopher Nolan’s most ambitious film to date. It is a lecture attempting to teach grand concepts in the guise of science through a fictionary plot. No green screens were used, and everything was ‘real’ demonstrating the visionary prowess and directional expertise inherent within Nolan. The only other film that could rival this transformative space odyssey is Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. Nolan tackles love, time, impending apocalypse, space, space travel, artificial intelligence, the fifth dimension, the fourth dimension, the third dimension..all of the dimensions, and although I commend his efforts in exploring all of these concepts in a three hour film, I also condemn them. As a film, exploring so many larger than life topics successfully and succinctly is near impossible without becoming utterly convoluted and ultimately disinteresting.
The film presents a near to death Earth, where school curriculums have been changed in an attempt to cultivate a new generation of farmers and survivors to further the lifespan of the world. Interstellar presents a middle-aged widowed man and his relationship with his daughter, where paternal love drives all decisions and defies all science and time. Matthew McConaughey is, as expected, exceptional in his role. Jessica Chastain encapsulates the strong female figure – a figure common in all of Nolan’s films – as she works across galaxies with her father. Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway further cement the father-daughter dynamic that is integral to the film, acting as the last remaining NASA members fighting to help the world find an alternative habitable location somewhere in space. The relationships in this film are all believable, the actors are all exceptional – but this is a film that will not win an oscar for acting, nor is it a film to propagate the careers of individual actors. Actors chose to do a Nolan film due to the inevitable revolutionary methods of filming that Nolan uses. He constantly pushes the boundaries on realist films, exploring concepts that often perplex (and haunt) contemporary audiences.
However, as with the vast majority of Nolan’s films, the script is poor. In fact, the script acts in direct opposition to the fine acting and visuals. It takes away from the film to such an extent that the cinema was drawn to laughter at points. If you have to spend each scene explaining (or teaching) a scientific concept that even Steven Hawking cannot understand, the everyday audience member is going to become baffled, and its going to feel more like a Physics lesson than an entertaining film. A poor, predictable and cliched script, the film is instantly fighting an uphill battle, and visuals alone cannot win that. Nolan has taken his ideas too big to the point of being inconceivable (not unbelievable). Nolan makes a film that is intended to be believable, but due to the inconceivable and, ultimately, inaccessible nature of the ideas attached to the film, it is extremely difficult for an audience member to connect.
The difference between Inception and Interstellar is that Inception was able to foster a previously unheard of concept – dream sharing. It wasn’t something that people thought of often in their day to day lives; and in the deep dark suspicious world of global corporate companies, people love to think that these sorts of advanced military shenanigans take place – it feeds back to make Batman an even more accessible creation. Interstellar takes an idea that almost everybody has pondered (high or otherwise) – the ability to defy space and time – but executes the idea in such a convoluted way that it becomes extremely removed from the audience. I was only able to appreciate the film’s aesthetics; the grand concepts were sketchy and the script was weak consequenting in a severe detachment from Nolan’s space odyssey.
Nolan has created a revolutionary film yet again. But he has taken too big a step this time which has invited a whole host of criticism and flaws in the film. Interstellar looks amazing, sounds amazing (thanks to Hans, Nolan’s go to man with music); but, ultimately, it fails to deliver due to a pretty dire script.
The difficulty with starting a directional career so well with films such as Memento, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight Trilogy is that ideas have to be bigger each time. You can’t go much bigger (or complicated) than Nolan’s Interstellar, but this time it hasn’t worked. Perhaps Nolan’s limits have been reached.
neighbourhood noise have heard rumours of a Nolan directed Indiana Jones to be in stall next – as usually big Christopher Nolan fans, lets hope that, if these rumours are true, he is able to deliver!