Review: Interstellar

Christopher Nolan is well established for creating awe-inspiring spectacles to the big screen. His latest, Interstellar set his sights to the stars and a quest to make cinema bigger and better than it had ever been before.

In the near future, Earth can no longer sustain its 6 billion inhabitants. Drought and famine have devastated the Earth and the human race is facing extinction. When a black hole emerges in the galaxy, a group of intrepid explorers decide to take the leap and search for mankind’s new home. For the pilot, Coop (Matthew McConaughey), it’s a choice between letting the human race live on and seeing his children again.

McConaughey’s character was likeable as the father who simply wanted to do what was right for his family. Anne Hathaway was sweet enough until a credible scientist started harking on about how the powers of love transcend the galaxies. She fell from strong and inspiring to weak and feeble within just a few words. The biggest kudos, however, need to go to Mackenzie Foy who plays Coops earthbound daughter Murph. Her reaction to her father leaving for an undetermined period is heart breaking.

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The rest of the film, however, is set well in the depths of astrophysics. Interstellar well and truly puts the ‘science’ in ‘science-fiction’. I found myself feeling like a Year 7 student sat in a PhD level astrophysics lecture and realising just why I never enjoyed science in the first place – it all goes way over my head! This may just be me being thick because those I shared my screening with were glued to the screen and clearly understood at least some of the science behind it. The lack of knowledge on my part made the story quite difficult to understand, and consequently dragged me through every minute of the 2 hour 49 minute screen time.

If the content of the film wasn’t hard enough to follow, Hans Zimmer’s exuberant original score made it even harder. The use of organs, which hark back to early science-fiction films, were over powering and irritating. Covering speech at times, the score made me wish I could reach for the volume controls and turn it down.

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In comparison to Inception, the cinematography was lacking in spectacle. The planet surfaces were not gasp-inducing. Credit to the CGi department because the planets did look real – so real, in fact, that it was questionable where they were CG or simply filmed in Morocco or Iceland.

Where trailers usually give away something about the films, the trailer for Interstellar gave away nothing, possibly to the cost of the film. Imagination plays a key part in piecing together what a film could be, and due to the lack of information present in the trailers caused over estimations. What could’ve been a space epic left me feeling like I’d just left school.

Sorry Mr Nolan, you may have aimed for the stars but you only ended up on the moon.

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