Interstellar broke my brain, and I almost guarantee it will blow your mind. I saw it 12 hours ago, and my mind is still chewing the fat that is this movie’s meaty plot. Go and see it as soon as you can. Until then, read this (spoiler-free) review about just how goddamn good it is.
Interstellar hits the ground running with its plot. We open on Cooper’s (Matthew Mcconaughey) farm in the American heartland. We don’t know what year it is, but it doesn’t matter: we know humanity has one generation left on Earth before we starve, suffocate and go extinct as a species. The world can’t be saved, so it’s up to what’s left of NASA, hidden away in an underground facility, to come up with a plan to save the world.
Cooper is a former pilot of some merit as we’re shown briefly in the film’s opener, and now we know he’s an engineer who helps fix stuff for his farming neighbours. It throws you right into the action with a drone chase and leaves you with a sense of scale as to just how bad humanity’s problems are when the farm next door is burning the last crop of Okra the world will ever see.
After some gravitational shenanigans inside his house, Cooper stumbles onto the facility, and realises that NASA is working on a plan to find a new home among the stars.
He then makes the difficult decision to accompany fellow scientist Dr. Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway) and several others into space to recover the results of The Lazarus Project: a group of 11 brave astronauts who went through a worm hole to find viable worlds.
That’s all I’ll say about the plot, because from there it takes twists and turns that will blow your goddamn mind.
The only complaint I have about Interstellar’s plot is that a lot of old sci-fi cliches are rehashed throughout the film, to the point that it sometimes draws out a laugh when it shouldn’t. Between explaining how a wormhole works by folding a piece of paper in half, through to calling on the pilot with an aspiration for more than this world can offer, they’re littered throughout the film.
Nolan justifies the use of tropes by building on each and every single one of them, however, giving you a richer look at his insanely beautiful universe. Sure, geeks are going to be splitting scientific hairs over the plot for years, but that doesn’t matter. It’s incredible to watch and even better to listen to. The movement between deafening noise and eerie silence, punctuated by a gorgeous Hans Zimmer score is excellent.
As far as casting is concerned, we’re still well and truly in the grips of the Matthew McConaussance. Mcconaughey’s subtle brand of heartland charm embodied in Coop is out in full force for Interstellar, and his chemistry with other members of the cast is great. Anne Hathaway’s character Brand is cold and calculating at first but warms up and finds her humanity as she delves further into the black. Plus, the through-line of Coop’s kid Murph played as a young girl by Mackenzie Foy and adult Murph played by Jessica Chastain throughout the film is a perfect way to illustrate the passage of time. It’s an emotional roller coaster that will probably have a glistening tear or two rolling down your face in parts. I don’t have kids and am genuinely turned off by the prospect, but the emotional goodbye between Coop and Murph saw me tear up. It’s emotionally manipulative in the best possible way.
The four leads of the film (McConaughay, Hathaway, Chasten and Caine) are all fantastic, but there are so many other great actors popping up throughout the film that you need to keep your eyes peeled for. At certain points you’ll be pulled ever so slightly out of the action to guess the name of the actor you’ve just seen, before being thrown straight back in by the choices they force the cast to make.
We saw the film in IMAX last night on the mammoth Darling Harbour screen, and if I’m honest it kind of ruined the experience. I recommend seeing this on a large screen, but not a screen so large you have to turn your head. It lends gravitas to the vast space sequences like the trip into the black hole and the orbit around Saturn, but it makes close-up shots look stretched, distorted and occasionally out of focus.
I’d recommend going to either a Village/Event V-MAX or Hoyts Xtremescreen cinema so you get the best look at the film you can without having the image distorted.
It’s a movie with a rich plot, dense storyline and about 6 different twists as the film goes on which leaves you really wondering where it’s about to go next as a movie. Sure, you might guess a few of the big ones, but it still leaves you gripping your armrest the rest of the time wondering what’s going to happen next.
Go and see Interstellar. It opens on 8 November.