Film Review: Interstellar

With the critical success of director Christopher Nolan’s MementoThe PrestigeInception and The Dark Knight Trilogy, the expectations for his next film were bound to be very high. And with Interstellar’s theatrical debut this month, Nolan is putting out his most ambitious, emotional and visceral roller coaster of a film yet.

Nolan’s sci-fi epic centers around Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), an engineer-turned-farmer after a devastating set of circumstances leaves Earth in drought and famine. Food has become scarce and the planet’s ability to sustain life is dwindling, so it is up to a group of explorers, Cooper included, to travel through space in search of a new habitable planet for mankind.

The film boasts a star-studded cast, with Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and many more bringing their acting talents to the screen. Overall, the cast does a fantastic job of making their characters believable and emotionally impactful. The real powerhouse of the movie, however, is McConaughey. He artfully exhibits his dramatic range throughout the film, and several scenes were so powerfully acted that I could not help but feel for his character.

Additionally, Nolan’s camera work and visual effects were thrilling. Without delving into plot specifics, the scenes in space were as visually resplendent as they were creative. Tied together with Hans Zimmer’s passionate and sophisticated score, Interstellar truly puts the “moving” in “moving picture.”

However, the main sources of criticism for the film have been its occasionally odd pacing and its intriguing, yet undeveloped scenes. Some scene transitions and cuts did not flow as well as they could have, and the humor did not always fit the movie’s tone in certain scenes. Also, at a running time of 2 hours 49 minutes, the film packs in an incredible array of events, both emotional and scientific, that may prove too much for some.

Despite these few minor problems, the film’s ambition and fascinating ideas are just too captivating to ignore. While many consider Inception to be Nolan’s finest work because of its crispness and flow, Interstellar ’s acting, story, visuals, film score and ideas affected me unlike any movie I have ever seen. And I cannot wait to sit in a darkly lit theater for another three hours and be drawn in by a movie that epitomizes the inherent power of storytelling and film.

Photo courtesy of nolanfans.com