Interstellar is by far Christopher Nolan’s most ambitious film to date. This bold and risky venture sees him take on the equation of space exploration and the results are typically enthralling both through the awe-inspiring spectacle on screen and the emotional value of the film. By now we are used to Nolan creating magic in front of our eyes whilst tugging on our heartstrings and Interstellar is no different in that respect. Not quite living up to the quality of Inception or the Batman trilogy, Interstellar still mesmerises in the way only Nolan knows how.
Set in the future of the dystopian variety (is there any other?), Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a former test pilot and widower, living with his father-in-law (Jon Lithgow) and looking after his two children Tom and Murph.
The latter, at the age of 10, is a rebel in a school that does not believe in the teachings of space exploration.
After a series of clues lead Coop and Murph to the remaining traces of NASA, they bump into Coop’s old boss Professor Brand (Michael Caine). After much persuasion, it is decided that Coop will be flying a team into space in search of a new home away from Earth, leaving behind his two children – possibly forever.
The Endurance ship consists of Brand’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi) and Doyle (Wes Bentley. Along for the ride are ex-military robots TARS and CASE.
Upon their travels is when the wow factor kicks in for Interstellar. Planets consisting of mountain sized tidal waves and giant ice structures are typical of Nolan and his team’s ambition for grand scenery.
Rules of time and space lead to the introduction of the grown up Tom (Casey Affleck) and Murph (Jessica Chastain), now working under Professor Brand at NASA.
The trio of McConaughey, Chastain and Mackenzie Foy (playing the young Murph) absolutely steal the show alongside the striking set pieces. Nolan follows the family trend that has run through many of his films and both McConaughey and Foy in the opening third of the film create some powerful chemistry as she fights to convince him to stay on Earth. On top of that, Chastain is cast perfectly for the role of the strong and stubborn but smart grown up version of Coop’s daughter.
Nolan does brilliantly to fuse the love and emotion in tandem with the inducing spectacle he has painted before you. In fact, some of the best scenes are of the touching variety, when McConaughey is saying goodbye to Murph in particular. This is no surprise though; Nolan has made a habit of it by now. Take Inception, the final scene of Cobb arriving home is arguably the best of the film. Hans Zimmer should also be credited for again complimenting Nolan’s sights with another powerful score.
Interstellar is not without it’s flaws. At times the storyline is slightly disfigured and the amount of times the crew on board The Endurance discuss an issue or theory that they surely would have discussed before they left Earth is slightly unwarranted. TARS and CASE also pose two frustrating and perhaps unnecessary characters – almost the Jar Jar Binks’ of Interstellar.
For a film of nearly three hours, you can’t help but feel that the some of “the science chat” could be excluded. As an audience, our lack of scientific knowledge and know-how allows Nolan to experiment with Interstellar and it seems that any waffle that the characters say that sounds ‘scienc-ey’ is therefore believable. We don’t understand, but why should we?
Interstellar is certainly not Nolan’s best creation but is without a doubt his most ambitious to date. The risks of such a grand feat don’t always come off for him but he still manages to lay his foundations and Interstellar still proves to be a must-see epic that is literally out of this world.