Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway
Directed by Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight Trilogy)
Rated PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language
In the not too distant future, our time on Earth is coming to an end and NASA is looking for a way to to keep the human race alive as it looks for potential worlds for us to inhabit. An ex-astronaut-turned-farmer (McConaughey) is recruited to fly a mission to check for the potential of survivability on another planet.
The one thing filmmaker Christopher Nolan has always excelled in is rich, thought-provoking and ambitious storytelling. And Interstellar is one of the most ambitious films in this genre that I’ve ever experienced. At its very heart it is a warning that we are destroying our planet by providing a glimpse of a dire future. But it also serves as an adventure with many underlying themes. Its very grandiosity is the most compelling reason to see the film.
While at first the film appears to be greatly influenced by such projects as 2001, Contact and even Tree of Life, the project quickly propels itself into new territory asking huge questions about our Earth, our Universe, Love, Aliens, God and other difficult to explain conundrums. When I say ambitious, I really mean it. For a film like this to exist in a three hour form seems to be an amazing feat in itself. I’m sure the movie could have been two hours longer and most would have barely minded. It goes places and attempts to give answers to many of the things we, as humans, really want to know.
That being said, we must also recognize that while there is a lot of science here, this is a work of fiction spouting some whacky philosophies which I can’t get into without creating spoilers. I’m sure that many a fan boy will look to this film as more than theory and fantasy, but rather as fact. This could be a dangerous place to go and I’m sure debates will abound when it comes to accuracies and potential pitfalls. Since I don’t have a degree in astro physics, I’m going to assume that Nolan and his crew thoroughly researched their science and had numerous high level consultants giving them knowledge and advice, but I’ll also freely admit that that does require a huge leap of faith in a Hollywood project.
For those who don’t want to go too deep with the underlying questions, the film also works as great adventure. The performances from the talented cast are as terrific as we would expect, although many of their decisions and actions are a little too coincidental and inauthentic, I’m assuming mostly to help the pacing of the film. For example, McConaughey just happens to live close to the secret NASA base and just happens to be the ONLY person who can fly the ship. Some problems you just need to overlook. Also, what about the rest of the world? Where is the news? We don’t even get to see other cities other than the corn fields of Mid America. Many little details are left out, but I have to admit that the film doesn’t really suffer from a lack of expositional weight. A-