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Interstellar: A Review

Christopher Nolan’s newest brainchild “Interstellar” follows in the tradition of its sci-fi predecessors invested in the vastness of space. Nolan himself was quoted as saying that escaping the influence of films such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” was simply impossible. And like Kubrick’s masterpiece, “Interstellar” manages to delicately carry out its emotive impact against the landscape of planets and galaxies.

The film opens on an apocalyptic scenario in which the earth’s resources are dwindling and food supplies are constantly running short. Rather than attempting to revive what little there is left of earth, NASA is running secret missions to explore new galaxies in search of a new planet for humankind to move to. Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper in a successful follow-up in his path of career reinvention. The widowed farmer leaves his family to board the Endurance to travel through a wormhole and find a new planet for humanity. It’s a rousing narrative of the protagonist’s battle against not only the elements that space has to provide, but his inner conscious as a father. He is conflicted in his attempts to either allow for the continuation of humanity or preserve his ability to save and see his family, particularly his daughter Murph (a young Mackenzie Foy and an older Jessica Chastain). The mission is coordinated by professor Brand (Michael Caine), and his daughter, biologist Amelia (Anne Hathaway) accompanies Cooper on his feat.

Films of this scale are familiar to the work of Nolan–true to form “Interstellar” is a visual feast. Shots of galaxies and far off planets dazzle on the IMAX screen. The viewer must be reminded of his even more impressive feat considering his aversion to the use of computer generated images whenever possible. However, Nolan excels in the unexpectedly beautiful: the cornfields and landscapes of earth itself, while muted, are the parts of the film that are the most exquisite.

The film is representative of Nolan’s fearlessness in making movies that are overly complex. Notably, the creators have all espoused upon the point that the science discussed is all theoretically accurate. This complexity results in some moments that obviously fall flat and some contradictions in logic that can create much confusion for the viewer. This is not particularly helped by the sound mixing that, while accurate, makes much of the relevant dialogue in the first third of the film incomprehensible. However, “Interstellar” is a welcome opportunity for Nolan to experiment; his guaranteed success in filmmaking has allowed for the creative freedom of constant reinvention. As a result, it is difficult to not constantly hold an admiration for his handiwork.

The film’s drawn-out ending may be cause for confusion. The resolution of plot points at the beginning of the film is overextended and there are many moments throughout that could be construed as the ending of the film itself. Admittedly, its length and ambition can be dissuading to the casual viewer, and the film may seem overwhelming at times. However, “Interstellar” manages to retain its relevance as a truly intimate piece of science fiction. It succeeds in the task of balancing the grandiosity of space with the small, affecting moments that have been masterfully depicted between each of the characters.

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