REVIEW: Interstellar

11 Nov

This review contains minor spoilers.

Interstellar is one of those films that, while enjoyable, when one takes a step back and really looks at it, flaws start to pour in.

Maybe I’m being unfair. The film itself was fun. Although at the beginning, it is incredibly slow building, when it does finally reach it’s peak, you feel like the long haul was worth it (made even more so with the amazing score, teaming Christopher Nolan up with Hans Zimmer yet again). The film itself was fine – although I did have a few issues with the ending.

No. My biggest problem is when you take a step back and look at Interstellar for what it is (a major blockbuster film expected to make millions of dollars), it becomes apparently exactly how white and how male this expedition is.

Like damn. Couldn’t one of the robot’s voices have been female at least?!

Interstellar Promotional Poster | Image courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.

Interstellar Promotional Poster | Image courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.

In Intersteller, a farmer named Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former NASA test pilot, lives in the near future, where professions like engineering are no longer necessary. The world is running out of food, one character states, and so the more famers the better. But Cooper is not content with this simple life, and when he and his daughter, Murph (Mackenzie Foy, who will later grow up to be played by Jessica Chastian), stumble across the hidden NASA compound, and the infamous Professor Brand (Michael Caine) offers Cooper a chance to save the world by finding a new place in space for humanity to live, he jumps onboard. Heartbroken at the prospect of leaving his children behind, Cooper sets out, alongside Professor Brand’s daughter, Amelia (Anne Hathaway), and two other astronauts in order to find a planet best suitable to sustain the human race.

A lot of people had problems with the science aspect and how many instances of the space travel would not actually make sense. Considering Nolan had theoretical physicist Kip Thorne on board to consult for the film, I decided to sit back and let them worry about the science parts and simply try to enjoy the film. And to be fair, most of the science holds up in a science fiction-y sense. The instance that time could fluctuate, from planet to planet, especially planets close to black holes, makes a lot of sense.

But you also have to take my opinion with a grain of salt. I am not a scienctist. I am a mere movie goer.

There is only one instance when the science gets a little whacky and deus ex machina like for my taste and that’s at the end. I won’t spoil it, but some people found how all the science ties back together to love both profound and thoughtful (because love is something that can transcend space and time) and I just found it a little goofy.

interstellar, christopher nolan, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

Cooper and Murph | Image courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.

That’s not to call the acting goofy in any sense. Special props go to Young Murph, who managed to who play a fascinating child, especially since she was up against three Oscar winning actors. When her character grew into Older Murph, played by Jessica Chastain, her disdain for the planet coupled with her desire to discover an answer were well translated. Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, and Matthew McConaughey were also all incredible to watch, with a special nod to McConaughey. Perhaps it’s because my mother has taken a love for his past him Saraha (and, as a result, has watched it over a hundred times), but I walked into this movie nervous about how he would play it. But his down to earth, no nonsense, ‘I love my family’ kind of guy made him that much more relatable.

On the other hand, many of men felt almost useless. One character was there, it seemed, just so the black guy wouldn’t die first. Both iterations of Tom Cooper, played by Casey Affleck and Timothee Chalament, felt awkward and shoved to the side to highlight the connection between Cooper and Muph. Toper Grace was in the film … though I’m not sure why. He was there to take a punch, and for Murph to bounce ideas off of, but other than that, he didn’t quite do much at all.

Special nod however, went to TARS (Bill Irwin) and CASE (Josh Stewart), the two robots in the film. Considering Nolan said he had drawn inspiration from 2001: A Space Odyssey, I was expecting the robots to be more similar to HAL-9000, which CASE did, adequately. He was quiet and helpful without really feeling as though the inhuman, uncomplicated thought patterns of a machine.  TARS was both a delight and a menace, though in such a heavy movie, his snark was much appreciated.

If you’re interesting in a space film that has some good acting, amazing visuals, and a stunning soundtrack (four for you Hans Zimmer. You go, Hans Zimmer), than take a chance with this. If you were a huge fan of Inception… I actually don’t know how you’ll feel about this film. It’s far longer, much heavier, and the payoff doesn’t feel as big.

Granted, I’m a huge Inception fan. So I may be biased.

Interstellar was released on Nov 7th, 2014. Runtime 169 minutes. 

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