By Darren Chan Keng Leong (Singapore)
interstellar-30

 

Note: Major Spoilers!

I had waited a long time since Interstellar made its debut on the big screen to review the movie as due to its popularity, ticket sales were selling out fast and advance booking had to be made.

Interstellar is the much highly lauded and anticipated film by renowned director Christopher Nolan that focuses on the essence of human psychology and scientific theories that pushes the boundaries of our mind to see further and to ponder on the concept of space travel and habitable planets in the universe. Like all of Nolan’s previous movies, realism is largely present in the film such as crops blight which is largely impacting and destroying the source of people’s food intake. This is a forewarning that if humanity refuses to save the earth and do our part in the effort to fight climate change, we will ultimately face the consequences.

Former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) of The Wolf of Wall Street fame is recruited by Professor John Brand (Michael Caine) who devises a plan based on a much research and scientific theories in finding potentially habitable planets through a wormhole near Saturn which is created by an alien intelligence to access the three planets. Having identified three planets orbiting Gargantua, Cooper pilots the Endurance together with a crew consisting of Brand’s daughter Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), Romily (David Gyasi), Doyle (Wes Bentley) and two robots TARS and CASE to make the journey to the three planets to retrieve data previously made by a group of astronauts on Lazarus missions which are in fact one way trips.

By retrieving the data on these three planets, the crew is able to find out if humanity can be saved and that the humans on earth can travel to the planet by Interstellar ships. The scenes with Matthew McConaughey and Michael Caine is reminiscent of scenes from The Dark Knight Rises as it brings out the emotions of the film naturally through the dialogue and veteran acting skills of Michael Caine which makes it a moving performance to watch. Matthew McConaughey also portrays an emotional side of his character Cooper as a father in convincing his young daughter Murphy that he will come back from his mission but his daughter refuses to accept this and wants her father to stay as a family together.

The film’s main antagonist is Dr. Mann (Matt Damon) who is found to be still transmitting signals but after landing the space shuttle, the crew finds the planet to be an icy desert and unable to sustain human life due to the extreme weather conditions. Dr. Mann devises a crafty plan to take over the Endurance and save himself. Matt Damon’s delivery of his character’s dialogue is commendable but it still falls short of character interaction. However, I felt that it had elements of The Prestige where I was given the impression that was the good character as to a bad character, it was a nice surprise but the built up could have been improved.

Much praise definitely goes to the cinematography of Interstellar as it has beautiful shots of outer space, the planet’s environment and the space shuttle docking sequence which are spectacular to watch as it gives the audience the feel that they are in space with the characters. Even though, the film might be similar to Gravity, this explores the theories of space and time in-depth with plausible scenarios that makes the audience think while watching the film.

The film puts to the test many scientific theories such as Newton’s Law of Motions, Murphy’s Law, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Gravitational Lensing and Time Dilation that expands the boundary of space and time much like in Transcendence that perhaps, in the near future, there is a chance to find planets that can sustain life.

Interstellar lacks character interaction as characters such as Tom Cooper (Casey Affleck), Cooper’s son and Getty (Topher Grace) who is Murph’s co-worker gets pushed to the sidelines and they did not have enough screen-time which dampens the stellar cast of the film. Anne Hathaway’s character could have been improved to show a more emotional connection with the rest of the characters through whenever she interacts with the cast.

I understood most part of the film until towards the end where it gets complicated as Cooper sacrifices himself to collect data regarding the black hole’s singularity. The ending left me feeling flustered as it was hard to grasp the theory behind Cooper’s view of Murphy’s bedroom in helping Murphy to solve Brand’s equation and save earth. When Cooper awakes on the planet that is habitable, it has the building elements seen in Inception which I felt might have been referred to intentionally or unintentionally.

To science and space geeks, the film is an acquired taste due to technicality wise, but the visual effects should be enough to satisfy movie-goers who are supporters of Nolan’s stunning work and strong cast throughout the years.

I can’t help but think that Christopher Nolan has combined elements from his previous films to create a masterpiece such as Interstellar and Hans Zimmer who is the main composer for the film delivered a brilliant and haunting soundtrack which flowed well throughout the film as it portrays the emotions being felt by the character in each scene.

The concept of love is also explored through betrayal and being present for our loved ones which I feel that Anne Hathaway’s character, Amelia Brand illustrates this point with a quote from the film, “Love isn’t something we invented. It’s observable, powerful; it has to mean something… Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.”

The film leaves the audience with a strong sense of their own perception of the concept of the film which is subjective to everyone as they try to find a logical reasoning which is the beauty of such films. Interstellar borders between science fiction, fantasy and realism which is the soul of the film that draws many movie-goers to view Christopher’s Nolan latest impressive directorial outing.

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