A Review of Interstellar

Interstellar – 9.6/10

Christopher Nolan’s Sci-fi epic titled Interstellar hit theaters November 7th and broke 50 million dollars in it’s opening weekend wide release. In that same opening weekend, it entered IMDb’s top 250 movies of all time ranking currently at #12. With all such hype and internet controversy about the film, I took it among myself to view the film and see what all the buzz is about. At a nearly 3 hour run-time for the film, I knew I was ready for a film experience. Firstly, I recommend those who have not already seen Interstellar, or any of his films for that matter, to watch all of Christopher Nolan’s films up to this point. Though it is not at all required by any means, it is highly advised to see a growth and understanding of Christopher Nolan as a whole. With films such as:

under his belt as well as all placing on IMDb’s top 250 movies, Christopher Nolan is without a doubt a powerhouse in the film industry. Interstellar is no misstep by any means in Nolan’s filmography. From visuals, to storyline, to acting, Interstellar shines in all categories and is a true achievement in modern cinema. I would dare to call this film Christopher Nolan’s Magnus Opus, but I have a feeling we are only to see more greatness come from this man. He, once again, brings a star-studded cast to the screen with the only familiar faces to his movies being Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine.

Secondly, if you plan to enjoy this film as a whole, I’d recommend seeing it multiple times. I saw it twice myself and enjoyed it even more upon second viewing. The main reason I advise doing so is because upon first viewing, you will mainly be following plot and dialogue, along with an overwhelming amount of visuals. This film is without a doubt a Sci-fi movie of epic proportions. Nowadays, it seems that Sci-fi is mainly driven on action and ships blasting each other. If that’s the kind of Sci-fi movie you expect from Interstellar, you will be sadly disappointed. It is one of the most scientifically advanced movies I’ve seen to date and, quite frankly, it is a lot to take in at once. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that anyone who leaves the theater after seeing this film will think about it multiple times throughout the following week. Love it or hate it, this film will stick with you.

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An Imax camera that Nolan strapped to the front of a learjet during production of Interstellar

For the remainder of the review I will go into analysis on plot points and themes.

(WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

The time and setting in the film is left ambiguous as Christopher Nolan tends to do. He is a storyteller who loves to let the audience do quite a bit of internal thinking. All we can tell is that it takes place on Earth in the near future during some sort of dust bowl-esque famine of national proportions. Due to the dusty conditions of the world, plants are beginning to die and become more sparse, requiring farmers to once again be a crucial job for humanity to survive. Military and government operations are no more in this future as well. Matthew McConaughey, in a defining role of his career, plays Cooper, an ex-NASA pilot and father of two who has been forced to adjust to how the world now is by becoming a farmer. However, Cooper does not forget about where we came from, as it seems the rest of the world has. He still teaches his kids about space and the wonders of reaching the impossible. The schooling system does not exactly agree with Cooper’s decision to teach his kids these things. In their current situation, space is no longer something to worry about because the world has such huge problems to deal with.

Cooper’s relationship with his kids in the film has sparked rather polarizing discussions in online forums and boards. The trend seems to be that people think Cooper does not treat his Son as well as he treats his daughter. Families do tend to be like this. Double standards are no new discovery among households. Cooper’s relationship with his 10-year-old daughter, Murphy, is absolutely crucial to the story and character development. Tom, the 15-year-old brother, is not treated the same for several reasons, one of which, is that he is practically a man and could take of the farm himself. Cooper has successfully raised his son and has the utmost faith and respect for him. This does not require a lot of screen time for the audience to understand that relationship.

After a mysterious turn of events leads Cooper and Murph to NASA’s last space station, Cooper is quickly thrown back into the pilot seat. Only this time, he will not be bound to Earth, his mission is to save humanity from extinction and find new habitable worlds for mankind. This not only requires him to leave his family, but to travel through a wormhole to an entire new galaxy where time will be different due to relativity. Cooper’s understanding of relativity makes him well aware that he will be gone for an unknown amount of time. When Coop has to break the news to his kids, your heart breaks for him. The world’s fate rests in his mission, but all Coop wants is for his little girl to make it off Earth before the dust consumes all plants and replaces all the oxygen with nitrogen. This only covers the first act and it only gets better with each act that follows.

(END OF SPOILERS)

Where this film goes, I’m not sure anyone could predict. Where it takes the audience is interstellar to say the least. Planets, galaxies and wormholes have never been shown in such a practical and mind-blowing way in a film such as this. All plot details or problems that people might have with the film must be reflected upon, both through conversation and in one’s mind. This by far one of the best films I have seen this year and I truly hope that it gets the recognition it deserves.

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