Nobody would be surprised if the first thing that comes into your mind when hearing the name “Christopher Nolan” is “high-grossing film” and with total justice. Nolan is known for his remarkable works in the big screen ever since he started his career with the low budget, but critically acclaimed, Following (1998), followed by Batman’s trilogy (2005-2012) and Inception (2010), among others. Interstellar comes as the latest creation of the three times Academy Awards nominee as a sci-fi story that might be closer to real life science than any other space film by combining Einstein’s theories of relativity with the love-is-the-most-powerful-force and a fabulous score by Hans Zimmer that turns out to be perfect for every single moment. Like Gravity before it, it is not just a sci-fi movie. It is the closest sci-fi movie we can see to reality today.
Everything begins in a probably not so distant future, when Earth is becoming unsustainable. A “blight” keeps killing the crops so we are running out of food. Hence, the need of less engineers and more farmers is starting to be crucial. One of this farmers is Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former NASA pilot, who runs a big farm in his courtyard along with his father in law (John Lithgow), son (Timothée Chalamet) and brilliant daughter, Murphy (Mackenzie Foy). At first, Murphy believes there’s a “ghost” in her bedroom, but when Cooper finds out the mysterious presence is giving out binary coordinates to an unknown place, he sets out to investigate. What he finds is a secret NASA facility which is trying to find a new home outside Earth. It is revealed that a wormhole has been placed near Saturn from an unknown source for (specifically) humans. Since it was discovered, there have been 12 previous “Lazarus missions” to find a sustainable planet without success. Convinced by Professor Brand (Michael Caine), Cooper, worried about the safety of his family, accepts to explore the 3 most promising planets that have been identified with the said missions with the help of Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi), Doyle (Wes Bentley) and robot assistance, TARS (voiced by Bill Irwin).
Interstellar is not meant to be a show of intergalactic wars or what a high-advanced technology society is capable of. It is meant express how mysterious, vast and uncertain our universe can be. And the film does it by remaining vastly faithful to Einstein’s theories while explaining time dilation (When time slows down as someone gets closer to a dense gravitational source), for example. But what makes that concept noteworthy is the fact that is not just a mention in the story, it is vital to the plot. Almost the whole movie revolves around that in such an efficient and emotional way that the result you get as the spectator turns out to real shocking. Since it is still science, at some points, the narrative in the film requires extra focus to understand some of the terms that are used to explain how the laws work, especially in the last part of the movie, but it is definitely nothing that can decrease the stunning and unpredictable script of Nolan’s latest masterpiece.
There are two other key points for the success of the movie. One is the marvelous acting of Matthew McConaughey in the helm of the cast showing the same, immense talent he is known for in Hollywood. He is the core of the film, his participation is crucial for the film to keep you involved with it. And that is a remarkable achievement considering it is a very long film consisting of 3 hours. Right behind him, we have Nolan’s old friends such as Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine, who both appeared in his Batman movies and Jessica Chastain as adult Murph. Even though the great acting can’t be awarded to everybody, most of them deliver a rather satisfying outcome. The other one is the powerful feeling of the score. Hans Zimmer has done an incredible job with its epic, emotional compositions. Although sometimes the sound can be a little too loud to keep you focused on the narrative, it really reflects what the team of explorers are trying to achieve: survival.
We can’t talk about a sci-fi without mentioning a little bit about the special effects. Interstellar uses the right amount of effects for this kind of film. As I stated before, it is not a movie that wants to show a bunch of space crashes, meteor showers or alien species. The only thing it is willing to show is how far (literally) we can go to preserve the human race while fighting with the only things we can’t control: time and space. But when they are used, they do not disappoint. The wormhole used to travel across galaxies or the environments of the explored planets are very nice to watch, but first prize goes to a black hole that is extremely beautifully detailed. Even Kip Thorne, the movie’s theoretical physicist, admits it is the most accurate simulation ever of what a black hole would look like. Another reason from a reliable source to believe this movie is closer to reality than others.
Christopher Nolan has proved once again that his work is something worth mention of. It is a very long movie, yes, but how this talented filmmaker has directed the film, Interstellar is far from being boring or tiresome. Even for a movie with a dialogue that can be hard to understand if there is not too much attention paid to it, the almost 3 hours of the search for a new home is a fabulous experience thanks to everything that is part of it. It is an experience that demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible in order to appreciate what it is all about. The non-reliance on too many special effects, the great acting, the powerful score, and the realistic yet emotional plot might make this movie a strong candidate for the next Academy Awards.
Rating: 10 – Just perfect