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Interstellar

When you come out of the cinema arguing passionately, I think it's a sign of a mind-baffling film. An added bonus to this is when none of you know what the film was ultimately about, and putting your trust that Christopher Nolan will deliver a great film. When reviews for Interstellar started streaming in, the reaction varied, so I wasn't sure what to expect. While it did leave me a lot questions, its third act's questionable scenes included, Interstellar was quite the film that leaves things shaken up.

Interstellar runs on a simple premise: the world is at danger, and these astronauts must go on an expedition to find possible life form for humanity to live in. The film was heavily reliant on Cooper, who connects the space story line with the events on earth. He was a pilot-turned-farmer during the famine years, and when recruited, manages to tarnish his relationship with his family, was viewed as a selfish being only thinking about his self and was surrounded with characters that were written off as sacrificial lambs as the film progressed. If it wasn't for McConaughey's ability to shift from one persona to the next, the film would have easily lost its charm. 

The Earth story line was rather weak, even if its addition makes sense towards the end. There were conflicts added to the story just so that the Earth people (particularly Murphy) has something to work with. While it can solely focus on finding a way to save humanity, Murphy was given a story that comes to play in the third act, which was when the film stumbles from its strong lead. The exploration parts were intensified by the score provided by Hans Zimmer, who kept the exploration in danger, as the characters never found a moment of peace. The score seemed to be constructed to keep us at the edge, waiting for something major to take place. 

The film was also particularly reminiscent of past space movies. One that came to mind was Gravity; there were elements at play that were similar to the Alfonso Cuaron hit last year, particularly in the technical aspect of things. As I've mentioned previously, the third act was where the film fell. It seemed that it brought a whole new level of logic that just skipped the current path the film was taking just to bring closure. It was questionable, to say the least. 

Christopher Nolan had a variety of casting choices he played here. Matthew McConaughey was fantastic as Cooper. He had that kind of persona that you know he will end up doing the right thing, but at the same time his personality gives him the opportunity to possibly screw up. He held the film together, third act and all. While Anne Hathaway was also good as Dr. Brand, her character doesn't sum up much, and besides her occasional crying, was really overshadowed by McConaughey. Jessica Chastain comes up to be the third important character, but was fed unnecessary story lines that while it makes her more human, doesn't really do anything to her cause. Matt Damon was surprisingly great as Dr. Mann. 

There were a lot of emotions at play, and while some hit the right notes, there wasn't much of a follow through. Despite the dangers of everything they went through, somehow it finds its way to go back to Cooper's family. It tries to mix humanity with science, and while it works at some point, there was something missing. I thought that the whole 'love for humanity' concept failed to translate well onscreen, and the third act tried to salvage that but it became technical, expanding to surreal. The film left me questioning the technicality of things, instead of the wonder and amazement that a space exploration should have given. 

This isn't a perfect film, far from it actually. This however, will spark discussion and theories, though not similar with Inception's scope. The actors have somewhat started campaigning for awards season, and while they were truly some of the best parts of the film, I don't think this one is the film for some of them. Still, it was terrific work from Nolan, and it was worth the wait. 


Final Word: A great space exploration film. It has factors of previous space explorations, and its last act might be divisive for viewers, but it was a great film from Christoper Nolan. 

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Director: Christopher Nolan 
Year: 2014

Comments

  1. Great review! I so agree that a mind-baffling movie depending on its reception is worth something for the lively debates it causes. It's not the best Nolan has made but it has enough ambition behind it to fuel a love for it's better aspects.

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    1. Thank you! I agree it's not the best of Nolan's work, but it's something to talk about for ages. If the film wasn't so long, we would have seen it twice!

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  2. I'm actually hoping to see this one during the weekend, I've been super-hyped to see it and it sounds really good. I even went as far as to design an epic (as well as unusually ambitious and experimental) blogathon to coincide with its release. Perhaps you'd be interested in checking it out and letting me know what you think:

    http://hitchcocksworld.blogspot.ca/2014/10/voyage-to-stars-blogathon.html

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    1. I will try to come up with something! I've started, but I'm not great at the science stuff so I'd have to research a bit more about it. I hope you enjoyed Interstellar!

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  3. Great review! I'm with you on this one. Not the best, but definitely not bad.

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    1. Thank you! This one got people divisive about his work.

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  4. I'm sorry, I thought I posted this last night. I didn't see the comment here so maybe I just hit the wrong button. I'm actually about to see this in roughly an hour, and it sounds like it could be a very interesting film. I've been pretty excited about Interstellar, so much so that I even designed an epic and very ambitious blogathon to go with its release. Perhaps you'd like to look at it and tell me what you think:

    http://hitchcocksworld.blogspot.ca/2014/10/voyage-to-stars-blogathon.html

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  5. Yeah I agree the third act was where the movie fell, it was so stupid it really destroyed the fact that the third act was also the most emotionally consistent one. Chastain played her character like a cold fish, Murph was badly written and she didn't even try to do anything with that role.

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    1. The scene where the movie fell apart can be pinpointed, and nothing could be done to redeem that. Chastain's role, despite being pivotal to the Cooper-Murphy relation, doesn't do much, and her performance wasn't striking or memorable, in the least.

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  6. Great review! Well, I'm on your side... this is, probably, not Nolan's best work, but indeed it's not a 'flop'.
    I like how it finally divides audiences, for that's the essence of going beyond the science theme here.
    Regards,
    Paskalis

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