Interstellar

Interstellar is possibly the most anticipated film of the year, with many people already talking about it as the main contender for numerous Oscars. With an all­star cast, including the in form Matthew McConaughey and having been directed and written by Christopher Nolan (Inception, Dark Knight series and Memento), it is easy to see where all the hype has coming from.

The question I inevitably had on my mind, moments before the film begun, was could Interstellar deliver on all the hype? It’s taken me a few days to make my mind up but I would have to say it doesn’t.

The first of what is three very different chapters of the film begins in a very unique vision of a distant future. Unlike the usual sci­fi films, where technology has taken over and people are flying around on hover vehicles, Interstellar is set in a dystopian future where humanity has been forced to go back to basics. Crops are quickly running out and the human race have been forced to focus on farming what crops still grow. McConaughey, an ex NASA pilot, is now an expert corn farmer, although he’s clearly not content in the life that’s left for him on earth.

This first chapter sets up a beautiful relationship between McConaughey and his inquisitive daughter, who struggles at school for asking too many questions about space travel, which in this world has been disguised as a propaganda campaign to bankrupt Russia.

The other thing noticeable from the beginning is the stunning score, which accompanies the film. It does an amazing job throughout and I’d go as far to say it is the best film soundtrack I’ve ever heard.

The film moves on and McConaughey discovers the world is doomed, but a secret NASA operation has been looking for a new planet to inhabit and they urgently need him to pilot their final hope.

This second chapter is where the visuals really take your breath away at times. The feeling of isolation is enhanced by brilliant establishing shots, which contrast their ship against huge galaxies. The visuals with the amazing music really are brilliant in patches. This section of the film is generally ok, mixing slow paced ship scenes with some slightly more exciting planet exploration scenes. There’s also some interesting plot twists, which keep you guessing. However, none of this feels particularly new. It feels a bit like films such as Apocalypse at this point. There are also numerous occasions where really difficult space and time theories are talked about in great detail, which are impossible to understand for anybody but space experts that there were a few scenes where I knew they were in trouble, but had no idea why or what they could do about it.

However, it is the next chapter where the film starts to fall apart. Christopher Nolan is famous for films, which encourage you to think outside the realms of the possible and he’s really outdone himself with this one. The main problem being, the things you are asked to consider are just so mind boggling that you can’t even begin to understand any of it. There were even times when it felt so crazy that the audience actually laughed at how ludicrous it sounded.

The other problem with this final chapter is how disjointed it is with the rest of the film. The first two chapters are a pretty solid ‘save the earth in space’ type film. The final section of the film is just madness! Christopher Nolan does try to link the ending with the rest of the film, but with hindsight there are so many holes in it that I’d have to say he failed.

I was talking to an Inception fan, (which I have to admit I didn’t love) about how hard the ending of the film was to understand and they seemed to suggest that was great because that is what they loved about Inception. The whole of Inception is set in a strange world where you’re constantly questioning what is going on, so you’ve got the whole film to get used to it. However, in Interstellar it is only the last 25 minutes where all the madness spills out so it just doesn’t work as well.

One thing I would say about Interstellar is that me and the person I saw it with were talking about it for hours after, which clearly shows it challenges you to think. However, most of what we were talking about seemed to be scenes we didn’t understand or holes in the plot.

I’m sure there will be lots of people who disagree with me and love how ambiguous the whole thing is, but overall Interstellar felt too complicated and unfathomable for me. If I’m honest, I think I would have preferred the film to have ended after the second chapter.

Author

Michael Wilson

Michael is a film lover and a UX designer.