Space: the final frontier. Science fiction is one of the only genres where artistic and human ambitions are able to unfold powerfully and beautifully. As I previously stated on my Gravity review, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey still remains the highest achievement within those terms, and still incredibly enigmatic to this day. An avowed admirer of both the genre and Kubrick’s work, Christopher Nolan takes his chance with the megalomaniac Interstellar, a movie that most certainly will divide masses. Me? I’m on the “loved it” side.
Keeping the plot pretty close to the chest (believe it, the 4 trailers released barely scratched the surface), it introduces us to a desolated, food scarse Earth. There, engineer turned farmer Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is selected by professor Brand (Michael Caine) to lead a desperate space expedition, using a newly discovered wormhole to travel to the farest corners of the Universe, searching for new habitable worlds to preserve the human race.
At first glance, it’s not the most inovative or original of premises. But be no mistake, Nolan and his brother Jonathan’s script has more layers than Inception, and a higher epic scale than all his three Batman movies combined. Inspired by theories of astrophysic Kip Thorne (who’s also an executive producer here), Nolan and his team set to creat some of the most beautiful images recent Cinema has ever seen, aided by sharp visual effects, IMAX cameras operated by talented Hoyte Van Hoytema and a skillful sound design. All elements lined on the realism and scientific fidelity Nolan so deeply encourages, which also provides an autenticity feeling to the events portraited here – the simple explanation to the concept of wormhole is stylish and effective, for example. We also see a wondrous effect when Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is used with dramatic effect to represent time changes: an hour on certain place can be decades on another.
Sure, several concepts here lead to brutal exposition. The script slips when it’s characters show up with dramatic catchphrases on casual dialogues (“Mankind was born on Earth, it was never meant to die here”), which werdly goes against the autenticity that Nolan chases. But holy damn, when the film engages in the mission and the spectacle begins, I was able to forgive any flaws. Nolan’s direction during the space sequences, aided by Hans Zimmer’s fresh and powerful score (Academy Awards, don’t you let me down…), results in a mesmerizing experience which left me at the edge of my seat, questioning if the images I was watching truely were work of humans.
Even with the giant spectacle of galactic proportions, the human factor is genuine. The relationship between Matthew McConaughey and his daughter (the amazing Mackenzie Foy in child age, and Jessica Chastain in her adult phase) is heartfelt and guarantees more memorable moments to his better and better career. And once we approach the climax of the almost 3 hour duration, Interstellar is going to please and disappoint, depending on the type of viewer. It’s an abstrate conclusion that demands fertile imagination and also pacience, with reactions ranging from brilliant to ridiculouis. It worked for me, presenting itself as logical and smart solution which had been being constructed since the film’s absolute first frame.
It we’ll depend a lot wheter you like Interstellar or not. Critical reception reveals that some loved it, others hated it, and a few simply didn’t think it was really something. I clearly have made my opinion pretty clear here, and I believe it is one of the supreme viewing experiences of 2014, so powerful it can overshadow it’s small flaws. But even if I had hated it, I’d still recogonize Christopher Nolan’s bold move to tackle a complex theme in a millionaire blockbuster.
It worked for me.
Obs: Definitely see it in IMAX.
Obs II: There’s a very special cameo in the film. By now, several websites must have ruined the surprise, but it still fun to see an enormously famous actor kept in secret during the film’s divulgation.