Yet another film on my “watchlist,” except this time I’ve seen it. If you don’t go watch this film you are certainly missing out on a cinematic achievement that cannot be missed. Much like Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity,” “Interstellar” takes place in space and is a mind-blowing experience if you watch it in the big screen. No matter how you watch it – in IMAX or in regular theaters – you need to experience it. It’s time to get lost in space.
And don’t worry – there will be no spoilers here.
One of the beautiful things about this film is that I can give a review without giving away spoilers. Yay!
The plot is generally – and often reported – as thus: Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), an explorer-at-heart, farmer-by-day, is given an unlikely mission to man a spacecraft that will search for other worlds as Earth dies and lays in waste. He is to find another home for mankind alongside other scientists (including Anne Hathaway) but may never get to return home to his family. As they travel across our galaxy and through a wormhole to discover other worlds, Cooper is constantly faced with life-or-death situations, but the only thing that keeps him going is saving his family – and saving the human race.
I cannot give enough accolades to the achievements Christopher Nolan has done with this film. It’s a mastery in cinematography, in the acting, and in the writing and Nolan brings it all together seamlessly. He brings out the best of his actors and he makes you realize just how small we are in space. After watching this and having seen “Gravity” both in IMAX, it is clear that “Gravity” is a great technical achievement and in the acting. But “Interstellar” mixes those with excellent writing and crosses genres: there’s an element of melodrama, thriller, adventure, action, and mystery all mixed together in this film. It takes the most classic tale – the hero’s journey – and puts it in extraordinary circumstances. And, by watching it in the big screen you get to experience it fully. IMAX honestly scares me, as I cannot tell you how much I writhed in my chair while watching “Gravity,” and how much motion sickness I got from “Interstellar.” But at the same time, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I can see parallels between this film and “Inception,” as it does have leading men just trying to return home to his kids. The bond of fatherhood and being there for your children are strong themes in these two films and I wouldn’t be surprised if Nolan’s future films follow the same themes. It comes up even slightly in “The Prestige,” which is another one of my favorite Nolan films (although the more prevalent theme there, I believe, is how far a man will go for greatness). I think that Nolan continuously tests and stretches his limits in filmmaking to create one masterpiece after another that just sets a new benchmark in cinema. And if he, Cuarón, David Fincher, and several others are to be the leaders in directing then the movie experience will change forever. Just as how Steven Spielberg and George Lucas shaped a generation in adventure and sci-fi films, Nolan could very well shape the present generation.
There was one incredibly tense moment in the film when I could not stand to watch the screen before me anymore. I had to break free from the film, and so I looked at the audience around me. No one was blinking. Everyone was staring straight forward, rigid in their seats. One man had his hands in prayer up at his mouth. In that moment, everyone was lost in the experience of the film. We were not ourselves at that moment. We were just like Cooper, and we were in space with him. His experience was ours. Nolan’s ability to capture our attention so fully is nothing short of magical.