Arthouse Reviews: Interstellar

By ArtHouse Crouch End, 01 Dec 2014

interstellar poster

Scientists across the world claim that if we don’t act now against climate change we’ll be faced with the consequences of our actions. Interstellar gives us a hint of what that might mean.
 
In his latest work, director Christopher Nolan ventures into the complex and fascinating genre of science fiction. The film tells the tale of planet Earth on the verge of disaster in a future not so far from today. The blue planet is slowly being invaded by a mysterious ‘dust’ that destroys crops and confronts humanity with famine and drought. The only solution is to escape the planet and find a new one to live on, and John Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is the leader of history’s most important space mission.
 
McConaughey is convincing as Cooper, as he makes the transition from a retired space engineer living with his family and dedicating himself to farming, to the spaceman tasked with saving the future of the human species. In the take-off scene, Cooper mimics the same tone of voice of real-life astronauts, adding a degree of realism to the film that immediately draws your attention. Apparently, Christopher Nolan was so keen on making the science accurate and realistic that he employed one of the world’s most important astrophysics experts as a scientific consultant and executive producer.
 
McConaughey isn’t the only star in the film. Next to him is Anne Hathaway, playing Emilia Brand, the only really loyal character in the story. While everyone else has a darker side that ends in betrayals and deceptions, Dr Brand is the only truly sympathetic character in the film.
 
Most thrilling is the scale and drama of the spectacular visual effects. You could argue that the 165 million dollars invested in the film pay off, as you begin to feel swept into cosmos, jumping from black hole to icy alien planet, to the edge of Saturn’s rings and some strange vast galaxy light years away from us. Some scenes are completely silent, letting you gaze and admire the beautifully reproduced universe and the outstanding photography.
 
The soundtrack is the work of none other than Oscar winning Hans Zimmer, who collaborated with Nolan for Inception’s score. His work on Interstellar compliments the picture, keeping the mood tense and adding even more magic to the epic space scenes.
 
The story itself, however, is less gripping. Perhaps surprisingly, unlike in Prestige and Inception, Interstellar has no intricate psychological games or plot twists. The story follows a more linear path, with a nice connection between the opening interview scenes of the film and the closing ones and a lot of sentimentality in between.
 
Nevertheless, the film’s pace keeps you wanting to know what’s next and the cliff hangers keep you glued to Arthouse’s famous seats. The film’s 169 minutes will not bore you, and looking up at the sky at night might just remind you of the warning being given by those scientists across the world.