Thursday, 6 November 2014

Interstellar

WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
DIRECTED BY: Christopher Nolan
STARRING: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy, Michael Caine, John Lithgow
RATING: 3 stars

I was engrossed in the complex tale of Interstellar and was waiting for that awe-inspiring moment I have come to expect when watching a Christopher Nolan film – but it never came. Interstellar is even more ambitious than Inception, but Nolan did not quite hit the mark this time. While the film is visually stunning, it was too long, and at times, painfully drawn out. Interstellar has a powerful message about the meaning and importance of time, gravity, relativity, the environment, family life and so much more. Perhaps that was the film's problem – it tried to cover too much.

Interstellar is set in a future where humanity has used up many vital resources. In a last-ditch attempt to find a habitable planet in another galaxy, NASA works secretly to avoid further criticism from the world that they are wasting money while people starve. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a widower and is raising two children when he agrees to pilot a space expedition even though it means he will miss years on Earth with his young family. His daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy/Jessica Chastain) is mad at him for leaving, but the bright girl soon plays a vital part in her father's mission.

McConaughey had great chemistry with Foy and was a good choice to play the loving father, eager to be part of history and save his family. He brought a sensitivity to the role of a scientific man. Chastain is building quite a portfolio of work playing strong women and she again delivers a good performance. I am not an Anne Hathaway hater like so many people are, but even I found her a little annoying at times in this film, playing a NASA scientist and the daughter of Cooper's mentor (played by Nolan favourite, the dependable Michael Caine). John Lithgow has a thankless role as Cooper's father-in-law who is left to care for Cooper's children. It was a shame he was given so little to work with. But he was just the tip of an iceberg of actors seemingly desperate to work with Nolan. There are several random stars popping into the film in minor roles including Matt Damon, Casey Affleck and Topher Grace – all of whom are solid, especially Damon who has taken on an unusual character.

I was enjoying most of the space journey with the protagonists, but ultimately, the mounting number of plot holes could not be swallowed up quickly enough by the giant black hole depicted in the film.


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