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Interstellar Has Grand Ambitions on it’s Mind

By Andrew Burgon /
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November 13, 2014

Director: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Cast:  Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
In Theaters: Nov 7, 2014 Worldwide
Runtime: 2 hr. 49 min.
Paramount Pictures: Official Site

Interstellar is an Epic Journey into the Vastness of Space

While many are saying Interstellar didn’t reach the lofty heights it set it has in doing so reached remarkable heights none-the-less. A movie that engulfs us in the vastness of space, the drama of relationships and the dilemma of the human race.

Set in a not-too-distant future the Earth is wheezing under the constant fall of dust and crop-destroying blight. Humankind is in dire straits and desperate for some relief.

Matthew McConaughey is Cooper, a widowed farmer and former test pilot. A man who is appalled at the current state of human affairs. “We’ve forgotten who we are: explorers, adventurers, not caretakers. We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars. Now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”

One night he stumbles upon a top secret NASA facility. There he meets Professor Brand (Michael Caine), the director of an ambitious two pronged project to find a habitable planet and find a way to save the people on Earth.

Cooper ends up leading a mission whose purpose is to follow up on the work of previous astronauts in identifying a suitable home planet. The journey will require them to surrender themselves to the powerful forces of a black hole which will take them to another galaxy. Professor Brand’s daughter (Anne Hathaway) will be along for the ride as well as scientists Romilly (David Gyasi) and Doyle (Wes Bentley). A robot named TARS voiced by Bill Irwin is along for the ride, too.

The passing of time is often touched on in the movie. This is because of the time bending qualities of black holes making time pass comparitively slowly than that on Earth. Cooper doesn’t look a day older but his daughter goes from the age of ten to his own age. When he finally gets to see her she is an old woman about to die.

The movie is thought provoking. Talk of gravity and black holes and fifth dimension nebulous chatter the latter of which is in need of embracing if you wish to swallow and not choke on this gigantic red pill. There’s also the mysterious force called “they” that seems to be helping humanity. The worm hole and fifth dimensional space their lifeline to us.

The movie does have some welcome unexpected twists. Professor Brand’s disturbing revelation on his deathbed. An astronaut who deceives the crew and causes mayhem and destruction (a pleasant surprise and well-played role by an actor who will remain unnamed 😉

Critics admire the ambition and scope of the movie but aren’t shy in giving their criticisms.

They say it’s too long, sluggishly paced and has trouble keeping it’s complex plot straight. A movie unable to transcend it’s fifth dimension gimmick to greatness.

It runs into problems with it’s sound mixing. The thundering score by Hans Zimmer sometimes overwhelming the dialogue.

That the screenplay is a pendulum breaker going from clunky to corny. Talk of Gravimetric Field Displacement Manifold to squishy sentiments such as ‘Love is the one thing that transcends dimensions of time and space.’

These criticisms and others in no way eclipse the merits of the movie though. We’re treated to technical virtuosity and gorgeous inventive visuals. An awe-inspiring, wide-eyed look and sojourn into the vastness of space and setting foot on exotic planets. Viewers are made to feel as though they are along for the ride strapped into their very own seat aboard the spacecraft.

Director Christopher Nolan’s stamp of distinction is all over this film. Intelligence, ambition, emotion and grandeur.

Interstellar is contemplative, intimate in tone, stirring and beautiful. A spectacle that shares the spirit of exploration and discovery with us. A movie in which we are exposed to the wonders and complexities of intergalactic space travel.

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